Sir Neville MARRINER
1998 Honorary Fellow
Sir Neville Marriner studied the violin at the Royal College of Music and them at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1949 he joined the Martin String Quartet, and formed the Jacobean Ensemble with Thurston Dart, and the Virtuoso String Trio. He played with most of the London orchestras which gave him the experience of various legendary conductors – among them Toscanini and Furtwangler, Cantelli and Karajan.
While playing as a principal in the London Symphony Orchestra he founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 1959, and formed the concertmaster’s seat as the director of this ensemble he gravitated towards conducting. Pierre Monteux became his mentor, and his first conducting appointment was with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 1969 to 1979. He then became Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra until 1986, when he took up a similar post with the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart. Although the majority of his opera and symphonic performances and recordings are with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, one of the most comprehensively recorded chamber orchestras in the world, he works consistently with major orchestras throughout the world.
In June 1997, Sir Neville led the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to visit the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under the auspices of the Hong Kong Government for a week-long Academy Music Festival which featured some 60 masterclasses and workshops, culminating in a series of public concerts which brought the Academy to international attention.
Sir Neville has twice been honoured for his services to music. In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 1985 he received a Knighthood. In, addition, he was awarded the Order des Arts et Letters in 1995 by the French Ministry of Culture for his outstanding lifelong achievement.