Neville Marriner

British conductor and violinist (born 1924 in Lincoln - died 2016 in London)

Founder of the celebrated British chamber orchestra, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marriner was one of the precursors of the Baroque revival, even if he never used period instruments in his performances of the Baroque and Classical repertoires.

Born in 1924 in Lincoln, Sir Neville Marriner studied at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Paris conservatoire. Before deciding to focus on conducting, he played violin in chamber orchestras and then in the London Symphony Orchestra.

When he decided to create the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, his idea was to bring together London's finest musicians to explore the Classical and Baroque repertoires on modern instruments but in a small-scale chamber ensemble. Since its first public concert in the church of the same name in 1959, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields has worked its way up to become one of the best orchestras today, with one of the most complete discographies in history comprised of nearly 500 titles.

Sir Neville Marriner worked with Toscanini, Furtwängler, Joseph Krips, George Szell, Stokowski and Pierre Monteux, who encouraged him to become a conductor in 1969. He founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, he conducted the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and he worked with orchestras in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Athens, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Tokyo. In 2011, Sir Neville was appointed honorary conductor of the new I, Culture Orchestra, which was created to bring together exceptionally talented young musicians from across Eastern European states. In 2011, he was appointed life president of the Academy and handed on his role as music director to the violinist Joshua Bell.

Sir Neville Marriner received numerous awards in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK for his contribution to the Western musical heritage.

Six landmark dates in the life of Sir Neville Marriner:

• 1958: founded the Academy of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields chamber ensemble

• 1969: founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

• 1970: the recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons makes him famous

• 1979-1986: music director of the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis

• 1984: recorded the soundtrack of the Milos Forman film Amadeus, which sold over 6.5 million discs

• 1983-1989: permanent guest conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

Six key recordings with Sir Neville Marriner:

Amadeus, original soundtrack of the film by Milos Forman,
Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields, Academy Chorus

• W.A. Mozart: Requiem K.626
McNair, Watkinson, Araiza, Lloyd
Academy and Chorus of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields

• J. Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons)
Mathis, Fischer-Dieskau
Academy and Chorus of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields

• G. Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)
Baltsa, Trimarchi, Lloyd, Burgess, Allen
The Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields

• G. F. Handel: The Messiah
Ameling, A. Reynolds, Langridge, Howell
Academy & Chorus of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields

A Festival of English Music: Britten, Vaughan Williams, Tippett, Butterworth, Elgar
Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields