Sir Roger Norrington came from a musical family in Oxford, England and played the violin and sang from a young age. He studied History at Westminster School and English Literature at Cambridge University, where he was a choral scholar. Several years’ wide experience of top class amateur music making, while working as a publisher of scholarly books, ended with a return to musical studies at the Royal College of Music in London and the start of his professional career as a singer and conductor.
During the 1980s and 1990s Norrington was much in demand as a guest conductor (as he still is today). He worked in Britain at Covent Garden and the English National Opera, with the BBC Symphony and the Philharmonia orchestras, and was Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Abroad he appears with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and in America the New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles orchestras.
Since 1998 Norrington has been the Principal Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR), and until 2006, of the Camerata Salzburg.
Since the 2011/12 season he is the Principal Conductor of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
In 2012 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the only federal decoration of Germany, for his collaboration with the RSO Stuttgart.