Sir Neville Marriner


Born: April 15, 1924; England  
Rivaled only by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Neville Marriner was one of the most important of the early figures who spearheaded the reawakening of modern interest in Baroque and early Classical music. In the 1950s, he founded Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the first British early music ensemble to find a large international audience. Marriner has since become one of the most popular conductors in the world, acclaimed for his interpretations of Read more composers from Bach to Britten.
Marriner was first taught the violin as a child, by his father, and attended the Royal College of Music, beginning at age thirteen. Wounded during World War II, he met future collaborator Thurston Dart during his hospitalization. In 1948 he became professor at the Royal Academy of Music. As well as joining the Martin String Quartet as second violin, he formed a violin-and-harpsichord duet with Dart, and their performances led to the formation of the Jacobean Ensemble, an early music group that recorded the Purcell trio sonatas in 1950. Around this time, he began studying conducting with Pierre Monteux at Monteux's school in Maine. Marriner's reputation in general music circles also grew; in 1956 he was appointed principal second violin with the London Symphony Orchestra.
A turning point came in 1959, when Marriner was asked to supply music for the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in London's Trafalgar Square. Marriner formed a chamber orchestra which he named the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The group's work attracted the attention of the Decca imprint L'Oiseau Lyre, which recorded its performance of Couperin's Les Nations. Favorable reviews and unexpectedly robust sales of this recording led to more recordings for L'Oiseau Lyre and its sister label Argo, and by the end of the 1970s the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields had become the best-selling chamber orchestra in recorded music's history. The group expanded from 13 players to twenty or more, and performed Classical symphonic works and twentieth century British music as well as Baroque material. The sound of Marriner's Academy recordings is crisp, with an extremely bright sound, using period performance standards with modern instruments. Marriner's name remains closely associated with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the group now has more than 300 recordings to its credit. These include the soundtrack for the 1984 film Amadeus, for which Marriner selected, arranged, and directed works of Salieri and Pergolesi, in addition to Mozart.
In 1969 Marriner he organized the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and he later took this orchestra on a tour of Europe. Additionally, he served as a guest conductor with leading U.S. orchestras, and in England held an appointment as conductor of the Northern Sinfonia, based in Newcastle. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he spent most of his time in the U.S., primarily as music director and conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra. After being knighted in 1985, Marriner went back to Europe, conducting of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1986-1989. Since then, he has conducted around the world, including at the Opéra de Lyon, and continues to record.
His conducting is known for its vitality and brightness, as well as precise ensemble technique, a reflection of his violinist days. In a 1991 interview he said of his style: "I was never a potentate swinging a scepter, but was always in a dialogue with my musicians." Read less
Browse 1-8 of 8 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Couperin: Apotheose de Lully; Les Nations / Leppard, Dart
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002083802 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Couperin
    Performer:  Raymond Leppard,  Thomas Goff,  Desmond Dupré,  Carl Pini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jacobean Ensemble
    CD: $15.99
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  • 2.
    Purcell: Songs And Sacred Arias
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1366 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Alfred [Countertenor Vocal] Deller,  Walter Bergman,  April Cantelo,  George Malcolm  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 3.
    Alfred Deller Complete Vanguard Recordings - Music Of Henry Purcell / 7-Disc Set
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 194 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  John Blow
    Performer:  George Malcolm,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Granville Jones,  Desmond Dupré  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Alfred Deller,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Michael Tippett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leonhardt Consort,  Kalmar Chamber Orchestra London,  Deller Consort  ... 
    CD: $28.99
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  • 4.
    Lovers' Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000615202 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Maurice Hasson,  Henryk Szeryng,  Marisa Robles  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Charles Dutoit,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $36.99
    CD: $33.99
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  • 5.
    Baroque Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470460 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Felix Ayo,  Maria Teresa Garatti,  Eduardo Fernandez,  Maurice Hasson  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  George Malcolm,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Paul Dyer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  I Musici,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 6.
    Monteverdi: Il Ballo Delle Ingrate, Etc / Deller, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 8100 Release Date: 02/27/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Honor Sheppard,  Sally Le Sage,  Alfred Deller,  Max Worthley  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deller Consort,  London Chamber Players,  Ambrosian Singers
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Complete Mozart Edition Vol 45 - Rarities & Surprises
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422545 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Susanne Mentzer,  Barbara Hendricks,  Andreas Röhn,  Erik Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Colin Davis,  Peter Schreier,  Kenneth Sillito
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields members,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $36.98
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  • 8.
    Vivaldi: Concertos / Marriner, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields
    Label: London/Decca Serenata Series   Catalog: 425721 Release Date: 11/10/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Philip Jones,  John Wilbraham,  Carmel Kaine,  Robin Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $9.99
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