Martin Butler was born in London and began learning the violin at the age of eight. When he was 11, Martin received a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music. After leaving school he studied music composition at Surrey University under Reginald Smith-Brindle and Robin Maconie, graduating with a first class Honours and a Masters Degree. Martin then worked as a keyboard player in a rock band for a couple of years. In 1981 he moved to Portugal, where he was a violinist in the �Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos� in Lisbon. During the eight years Martin lived and worked in Portugal he was able to pursue many other musical interests, including arranging music for various ensembles and playing jazz violin. Together with a Polish violinist, Martin formed a strolling gypsy duo and worked throughout Portugal as well as performing on many Mediterranean cruises.
Martin has been conductor of the Burnside Symphony Orchestra (one of Adelaide�s community orchestras) for the past twelve years. He has also conducted at State Music Camp, workshops for the Australian String Teachers� Association, and at many schools around Adelaide. Martin has conducted his own arrangements for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Christmas Proms concerts.
As well as performing as a violist in the ASO, Martin is currently involved in youth music in Adelaide as an Educator and Conductor. He has conducted the ASO education concerts and is currently the director of the Adelaide Youth Strings, a part of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra organisation. He is a member of �The Desperados�, a trio formed with other ASO players, which performs jazz and gypsy music.