The English conductor, Neville Marriner, studied at the Royal College of Music in London and then entered the violin class at the Paris Conservatoire taught by René Benedetti. He spent a season at Eton college (1947-48), and then became second violinist in the Martin Quartet.
In 1949 Neville Marriner founded the Virtuoso String Trio, and together with Thurston Dart, he founded the Jacobean Ensemble. From 1949 to 1950, he taught the violin at the Royal College of Music and at the same time attended summer courses in orchestral conducting held by Pierre Monteux in the USA state of Maine. He was a violinist in the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1952 and went to the London Symphony Orchestra in 1956 as chief second violinist (until 1968). The playing with London orchestras him the experience of various legendary conductors - among them Arturo Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwängler, Guido Cantelli and Herbert von Karajan.
While playing as a principal in the London Symphony Orchestra Neville Marriner founded the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1959, and from the concertmaster's seat as the director of this ensemble he gravitated towards conducting. Pierre Monteux became his mentor. He makes numerous concert tours with this ensemble and many recordings.
From 1969 to 1979, Neville Marriner was also Musical Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, from 1971 to 1973 deputy conductor of the Northern Symphony Orchestra, from 1979 to 1986 musical director of the Minnesota Orchestra and from 1983 to 1989 Principal Conductor of SWR Sinfonieorchester 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 worked consistently with major orchestras throughout the world.
Neville Marriner was honoured twice 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 Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1995 by the French Ministry of Culture for his outstanding lifelong commitment to French cultural life.