Neil has been Head of Timpani and Percussion at the Academy for more than 15 years
A member of the London Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 year, Neil has worked closely with many major artists and conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, François Xavier-Roth, Sir Karl Jenkins, Ravi Shankar, Kent Nagano and Elgar Howarth.
The EMI recording of Karl Jenkins’ Quirk concertos, for which Neil played marimba and percussion, was released to wide critical acclaim, as was the Grammy-nominated Bartok Concertos for Deutsche Grammopho, for which Neil played percussion under Pierre Boulez with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker.
In both live and studio situations, Neil has worked closely with many composers on more than 150 film scores, notably John Williams, James Horner, Patrick Doyle and Alexandre Desplat for Braveheart, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Brave, Rise of the Guardians, The Monuments Men and the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchises.
Neil has also enjoyed working with many major pop and jazz artists, including Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, Natalie Cole, Dave Brubeck, Joe Zawinal, Tony Bennett, Luther Vandross and Vince Mendoza.
Neil has collaborated with Tim Garland in a star-studded nine-piece group, Momentum, with John Patitucci, Joe Locke and Geoffrey Keezer. Neil and Garland later premiered Momentum’s concerto for saxophones and percussion with the London Symphony Orchestra in spring 2011 to enthusiastic acclaim.
As a clinician and educator, Neil has given masterclasses at many leading conservatoires and percussion events in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia, and has coached many of the world's leading youth orchestras, including the Pacific Music Festival orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
The Academy’s Timpani and Percussion department’s first CD, Reich for Percussion, an ambitious project featuring music composed over a period of 30 years, was released in 2013.