Rita Manning studied at the Royal Academy of Music and in Frieburg, Germany. On her return to London she was awarded the 'Young Artist's Platform Award'. In 1985, she was invited to join the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields which she co-led for six years. During that time she appeared on several occasions as soloist with the Academy as well as the R.T.E Symphony Orchestra and the London Chamber Orchestra.

For two years, Rita was the violinist in 'Attaca', a seven piece ensemble formed by guitarist John Williams and also toured the U.K with a group led by the late Michael Brecker.

With her own string quartet, 'Trans4mation' she has made two recordings on the E.C.M label with saxophonist John Surman. The most recent CD entitled 'Spaces in Between', features an unaccompanied violin solo written for Rita which she performed at the Wigmore Hall and the  Akbank Festival, Istanbul.

In 2008, Rita was invited to lead 'Camerata Ireland' on a three week USA  tour with pianist, Barry Douglas. She is presently leader of the Locrian Ensemble with whom she has made several chamber music recordings for the A.S.V, Dutton Epoch and Guild record Labels; most recent including the violin sonata by Volkmar Andreae.

In 2012 Rita collaborated with the pianist Lesley Howard for a series of piano quartet concerts and in May 2014, they released a recording on the Hyperion record label of the piano quartets by Anton Rubenstein.

Recent concerts Rita has directed have included Vivaldi's Four Season, Mozart Violin concerto No. 5, Bach violin concertos and the Lark Ascending.

In 2016 Rita achieved one of her lifetime ambitions, to meet and perform with Stevie Wonder, when she performed with him at a concert in Hyde Park to an audience of 65,000 people. The spring of 2017 included three recitals in Israel and Palestine and two Vivaldi concertos with the London Gala Orchestra in St Martin in the Fields, London.