French-born musician Jean-Luc Ponty is widely considered to be one of the most accomplished players of jazz fiddle. Raised by a father who taught him violin and a mother who taught him piano, Ponty was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of 16. Graduating two years later, with the school's highest award, the Premier Prix, Ponty would go on to play with some of France's well respected orchestras before gaining a deep and long lasting interest in jazz music. Blending his classical training with jazz sonic aesthetics would lead Ponty to work with revered musicians in the 1970s like Frank Zappa as well as noted virtuostic groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever. Ponty still maintains unprecedented skill with the fiddle, collaborating with other gifted instrumentalists and performing solo, up-keeping his standing as one of the more talented individuals to have ever picked up his given instrument.