Sir Neville Marriner, one of the world’s greatest conductors, has died aged 92. He is probably most strongly associated with theAcademy of St Martin in the Fields, which he founded in 1958. The academy initially consisted of twelve players who met to rehearse in Neville’s front room and took their name from the church in which they gave their first performance. The academy soon expanded into a chamber orchestra of astounding reputation, of which Marriner became life president in 2011.
The first recordings of Sir Neville Marriner and the academy, dating from the 1960s, featured Marriner playing violin as well as conducting. Having studied conducting with Pierre Monteaux in Maine, Marriner soon shifted his focus wholeheartedly to conducting. His partnership with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields came to be one of the most outstanding in the history of recording for its quantity of recordings and not least for the calibre of the players, which have become renowned as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras.
Neville Marriner was the first ever music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestraand later became music director and principal conductor of both the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Südwest Deutsche Radio Orchestra.
Marriner’s recording output, in partnership withPENTATONE, Philips, EMI Classics, Argo and L'Oisseau Lyre reached the 600 mark, covering over 2,000 different works, ranging from Baroque to 20th century. He conducted the soundtrack to the cult movie Amadeus, which sold over 6.5 million copies.