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Neville Marriner (b1924)

Neville Marriner was initially taught to play the violin by his father and after receiving lessons from Frederic Mountney he entered the Royal College of Music at the age of thirteen. With the advent of World War II and the military enlistment of many orchestral payers, while still a student he soon gained experience of playing in a professional orchestra, for instance with the London Symphony Orchestra and under conductors such as Sir Henry Wood. When he himself was called up he served in the Royal Navy, participating in motorboat raids into France before D-Day. Having been invalided out of the navy with kidney damage, while in hospital he met the keyboard player and musicologist Thurston Dart, with whom he was later to collaborate extensively. Following the end of the war Marriner returned to the Royal College and then went to Paris to complete his studies at the Paris Conservatoire with René Benedetti. After teaching at Eton College for a year (1947–1948) he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1949; in parallel he became a member of the Martin String Quartet as well as of the Jacobean Ensemble, formed with Thurston Dart and another orchestral player, Peter Gibbs. Driven by Dart’s musicological interests, this group specialised in the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and made several records for the L’Oiseau-Lyre label.



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