The English conductor and violinist Sir Neville Marriner is one of the most influential artists at the forefront of the modern revival of Baroque and early Classical music. He is the founder of the world-renowned British early music ensemble Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and is the second most recorded conductor of all time, after Austria’s Herbert von Karajan.
Marriner began his carreer as a violinist under the tutelage of his father, and attended the Royal College of Music from the age of 13. His studies where interrupted by the onset of World War II, during which he was wounded. It was while he was recovering in the hospital that he met harpsichord player and musicologist Thurston Dart, with whom he would be a long-term collaborator and co-founder of the Jacobean Ensemble, which played mostly 17th and 18th century music and released a notable recording of the Purcell trio sonatas in 1950. This ensemble was one of his first manifestations of his abiding love for Baroque and early Classical music. Around this same time Marriner began playing second violin in the Martin String Quartet, and by 1956 he had been appointed as the principal second violin for the London Symphony Orchestra.