While Piano Currents focuses on pianists, noting the passing of Neville Marriner seems appropriate considering his role in creating so many incredible piano-related recordings. RIP, Sir Neville.
Neville Marriner, a prolific British conductor responsible for some of the best-selling classical recordings of all time, died on Sunday at his home in London. He was 92.
His death was announced by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, one of the world’s most acclaimed chamber orchestras, which Mr. Marriner founded in 1958.
Born on April 15, 1924, in Lincoln, England, Mr. Marriner studied violin, composition and piano at the Royal College of Music and the Paris Conservatoire and was soon playing with the London Symphony Orchestra, where he was principal second violin from 1956 to 1968.
He established the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields during his time with the London Symphony. The ensemble began modestly, with a group of 15 friends performing in his home, and gave its first public performance in 1959 in the London church from which it took its name.
It was with that small group of friends that Mr. Marriner began conducting – or, as he said in a 1978 interview, “twitching around.” “You know, the actual mechanics of conducting are not very difficult,” he said at the time. “It’s getting the confidence. It’s like taking a driving test.”