The British conductor JAMES JUDD is internationally acclaimed for his remarkably diverse, unique musicianship and charismatic stage presence. His name came to international attention as Assistant Conductor to Lorin Maazel at the Cleveland Orchestra. Four years later Claudio Abbado appointed him Associate Music Director of the European Community Youth Orchestra. Since then he has led the Berlin Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras and has conducted in the major European concert halls, appearing with the Vienna Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Prague Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Monte Carlo Symphony, the Brussels Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Japan’s NHK Orchestra and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
His many directorships include 8 years with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a relationship which continues to this day in his capacity as Music Director Emeritus, and 16 years with the Florida Philharmonic. He cofounded and toured extensively with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and frequently guest conducts with many North American orchestras. Among the other posts he has held are Principal Guest conductorships with the Asian Youth Orchestra, France’s Orchestre National de Lille, directorships of the Israel Symphony, New York’s Little Orchestra Society, the Slovak Philharmonic, and Korea’s Daejeon Philharmonic.
Actively committed to music education, in 2008 James Judd founded the Miami Music Project in South Florida, which received generous support from the John and James Knight Foundation to provide performance opportunities to hundreds of children from diverse backgrounds and underprivileged communities in the city. The project, inspired by the Venezuelan model El Sistema, launched a music academy. Talented young musicians are given the opportunity to learn and perform orchestral works with the Miami Youth Orchestra. He directs the orchestras of Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, London’s Guildhall School and Trinity College, and Aspen Music Festival, as well as the national youth orchestras of Australia and New Zealand.
His discography is bound up with his extensive concert repertoire. Judd is a distinguished interpreter of English orchestral music and recorded Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 with the Halle Symphony Orchestra, receiving wide acclaim from the composer’s admirers. He has conducted a number of works by Gustav Mahler on international stages; his recording of the Symphony No. 1 was awarded the Diapason D’Or and Toblacher Komponierhäuschen prizes for the best recording of the year. He has also recorded for Decca, EMI and Philips. His repertoire includes works by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin. The “Gramola” and “Philips” labels include numerous recordings with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, particularly of works by Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe.