In a Friday (5/27) report for Reuters, Michael Roddy states, “American violin virtuoso Joshua Bell was named music director of the world-renowned Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra on Friday, replacing Sir Neville Marriner, who founded it half a century ago. ‘Joshua is very much the orchestra’s choice,’ Marriner, 87, said at a press briefing announcing that Bell, exactly half his age, would take up the post in September as only the second music director since Marriner founded the ensemble in 1958. ‘The orchestra has spoken and they want to work with Josh.’ … For the past seven to eight years [Bell] has worked with the group playing violin and conducting from the concertmaster’s chair. ‘I’ve just had an amazing time, I’ve really enjoyed this part of my concert life more than any other part, along with chamber music with a few of my close friends and this is what it feels like—I think of it as chamber music,’ he said. Bell said he may have to curtail some of his appearances performing concertos with major orchestras, but felt it was a good trade-off to work more intimately with the ensemble.”

Posted June 1, 2011