LONDON:- The British conductor and violinist, Sir Neville Marriner, has died at the age of 92, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields says. Sir Neville started his musical career with the London Symphony Orchestra. He later established the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras. Its chairman, Paul Aylieff, said Sir Neville’s artistic and recording legacy with orchestras and audiences worldwide was “immense”.

“He will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him and the academy will ensure it continues to be an excellent and fitting testament to Sir Neville,” Mr Aylieff added. A statement from the academy said its founder had passed away peacefully in the early hours of Sunday. Born in Lincoln in 1924, Sir Neville studied at the Royal College of Music and the Paris Conservatoire. He first played in a string quartet, then in the London Symphony Orchestra, during which time he decided to form a chamber ensemble from London’s finest players. A group of friends began rehearsing in Sir Neville’s front room, before taking their name from the London church of St Martin in the Fields where they staged their first performance in 1959. The academy, which Sir Neville became life president of, says it now has one of the largest collections of recordings of any chamber orchestra in the world. Sir Neville has been widely honoured for his work which includes recording the soundtrack for the 1984 film, Amadeus, and becoming the oldest conductor to lead at the Proms, in 2014 at the age of 90. In March, he was made a Companion of Honour by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace, and has also been honoured in France, Germany and Sweden.