This noted conductor and pianist studied at the Royal Academy of Music and at Oxford University. In 1964, he made his debut conducting the Oxford Chamber Orchestra. He joined the music staff at Glyndebourne from 1965 to 1967. He made his professional debut conducting The Beggar's Opera in 1967. Since 1965, he has been a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and he has been the artistic director for the Aldeburgh Festival since 1973.
His significant conducting premieres have been with Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice (1973) and his Phaedra (1976). In 1984, he arranged an orchestral suite from Britten's Death in Venice, which he subsequenly recorded. He has also recorded a wide range of composers from the classic, Romantic, and modern periods.