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Sir Neville Marriner Conducts His 90th Birthday Tour with Grace, Humor

originally posted on: Los Angeles Times by Mike Boehm
January 10, 2015

Sir Neville Marriner is not the most ancient mariner of the classical music world — that honor, he’ll tell you, may belong to Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the former Minnesota Orchestra conductor who has six and a half months’ seniority over the 90-year-old Sir Neville and remains active on the international concert circuit.

But Marriner’s 90th birthday year — he’ll turn 91 on April 15 — has been a big deal in the world of classical music, where the conductor is widely regarded as one of the most prolific, rigorous and amiable musicians of his time.

Marriner’s artistic home is London, where in 1958 he founded the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields as a small, informal chamber group that turned into a juggernaut with hundreds of recordings and unrelenting touring. Marriner also has an important place in Southern California music history as the founding music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra from 1969 to 1978. He’s back for a 90th birthday bow, with a concert Jan. 18 leading the Colburn Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto and Holst’s “The Planets” at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

photo: Sir Neville Marriner. (Lukasz Unterschuetz / The Colburn School)

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