Farewell to London’s #1 clarinet

Farewell to London’s #1 clarinet


norman lebrecht

June 30, 2019

The London Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Clarinet, Andrew Marriner, will play his last concert with the orchestra on Tuesday.

It will mark the end of two eras.

Andrew, 65, joined the LSO in 1977 and has been principal clarinet since 1986.

His father, Neville, played violin in the orchestra from 1939 and was principal second violin from 1954 to 1969.

Father and son together span eight decades of the LSO’s life.

Has any pair managed longer?



  • U. S. orchestral player says:

    Congrats to both. I’ve always enjoyed the lovely approach of the LSO, and Saint Martin in the Fields, as well.

  • Melisande says:

    Time flies! Both such incredible musicians. The cunning little Vixen will wave its tail as a farewell after its premiere in 1924.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    I wonder why he’s stopping. I shouldn’t think there is an age limit in London orchestras. A first-rate player that I hope to see go on doing chamber music, teaching and doing solo work.

    • Anon says:

      Apparently the LSO has a retirement age, unlike the other self governing London orchestras. Surely it shouldn’t apply as the musicians are deemed self employed status! Funny happenings at the Barbican…

    • Malcolm James says:

      Maybe he has other things he wants to do. Or he wants to stop, as Darcey Bussell said, before people start suggesting he ought to.

    • Stereo says:

      Not everybody wants to carry on for ever. Some of us have hobbies we like to spend more time doing.

  • Wai Kit Leung says:

    Did Mikhail and Vitaly Buyanovsky also span around 8 decades of the Leningrad Philharmonic’s history?

  • Max Grimm says:

    “Has any pair managed longer?”

    Andreas Blau, former Principal Flute of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and his father Johannes Blau, who played in the 1st Violins have 81 years between them. They shared the stage during 14 of those years.

  • Dave says:

    London’s #1 clarinet? Intonation issues, maybe.

    If it means “number one”, not all of us would agree, Norman. Still darn fine though!

  • He’s still playing brilliantly, but would probably hate to eventually get a DCM letter, joked about by many, and infamous in the LSO.

    Don’t Come Monday.

    Here’s to a wonderful and musical retirement.