Stephen Orton was born in Ripon, Yorkshire, and studied with William Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1985 Stephen became Principal Cello with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and has performed as a concerto soloist many times with the orchestra. He has been Principal Cello with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and the City of London Sinfonia, was a member of the Delmé Quartet for ten years, and has acted as Guest Principal Cello with the London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia. Stephen has wide experience of chamber music, being a member of the Academy Chamber Ensemble, touring internationally and making numerous recordings. He has often played the Schubert Quintet with the Chilingirian Quartet, which he joined in 2013.He decided to leave the Academy of St Martin in December 2020, to make himself more available to encourage young students and coach chamber groups.