SIR NEVILLE MARRINER began his professional life as a violinist, first in a string quartet and trio, then in the London Symphony Orchestra, during which he founded the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with a small group of friends, in 1959. At first, he directed the ensemble from the concertmaster's seat until the repertoire demanded larger forces. Then on the encouragement of his mentor Pierre Monteux, to "stand up and be a man," he relinquished his violin and took up the baton.
In 1969 he left the London Symphony Orchestra and founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, at the same time extending the repertoire of the Academy, and guest conducting symphony orchestras around the world.
He served as Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Sudwest Deutsche Rundfunk Orchestra in Stuttgart. During this time he produced about 20 records a year and eventually relinquished the onerous duties of music directorships to concentrate on the Academy and guest conducting.
Marriner is the most prolific classical music recording artist in the world, and was music director and conductor of the motion picture Amadeus. He made his opera debut conducting The Marriage of Figaro at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, his U.S. debut in Los Angeles with La Cenerentola, followed by a Salzburg Mozarteum televised production of Il Re Pastore, and had a long-standing relationship with the Opera de Lyon.
Marriner tours regularly with the Academy to the Far East and South America, as well as Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria.
He has twice been honored for services to music in his own country and in Germany, France, and Sweden, and holds many honorary degrees in America, the Far East, and at home.