composer and violinist who started playing at nine years of age and
attended the Royal College of Music, where he studied under the watchful
eyes of Leonard Hirsch and Bryan Kelly. He is the great nephew of composer
and conductor, Benjamin Britten.
In 1983, he
became a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. Other groups with whom he has worked
include The Atticus Ensemble, The City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, The
Composer Resource Ensemble, and the Philharmonia Violin Quintet.
One of his
earliest recordings was 1990’s Les
Miserables: The Complete
arrangements of Antonin Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”,
Vittorio Monti’s “Csardas”, and Sergei Rachmaninov’s
“Hungarian Dance” appeared on the 1994 CD, The London Violin Sound.
In 1995, he
appeared on the Philharmonia’s recording of the soundtrack from The Big Country. He arranged all nine tracks on 1995’s
The London Viola Sound, featuring
the forty-eight violas of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
October 1999, Adele Anthony and Gil Shaham performed his arrangement of “Sweet
Georgia Brown” on A Prairie
Home Companion. He played
on the soundtrack of Hotel Splendide
March 2004, Gil Shaham performed his arrangements of George Bizet’s
music from Carmen, George
Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, Vittorio Monti’s “Csardas”, Nicolo
Paganini’s “Caprice No. 9 in E, Op. 1”, Astor Piazzolla’s
“Tango Suite” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” at Wigmore
Hall. The program also included
the world premiere of Julian’s original composition, “En
In 2005, Julian
and Rosemary Furniss arranged music for the royal wedding of Prince Charles
and Camilla Parker Bowles. His “Virtuoso
Transcriptions for Violin and Doublebass” and arrangements of Gershwin’s
“It Ain’t Necessarily So”, Paganini’s “Caprice
No. 9” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Cheremushki Galop”
were included in the program of La Jolla SummerFest August 2005. On 8th September 2005, he
performed “Dedyushka” at the Royal Institute of British
Architects’ Florence Hall.
Balsam performed several of his arrangements on her 2006 album, Caprice. He arranged twenty “grooves”
from various genres for the Philharmonia to record under the baton of Allan
Wilson at Abbey Road Studios.
Cellist Andrew Hines and violist Deborah Lander included his “Partita
for Viola and Cello” on 2006’s Viola Vibes.
In 2007, he rang
in the new year as the host of the Philharmonia’s January podcast. He arranged “Amazing Grace”
for a February concert that marked the 200th anniversary of
abolition at Holy Trinity on Clapham Common. On 8th August 2007, Cho-Liang
Lin performed his “Tales from The
Magic Flute for Four Violins and Contrabass” at Sherwood Hall in San Diego, California. Cho-Liang also performed his
arrangement of Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So”
on the soundtrack of 4.
Philharmonia Violin Quintet performed his arrangements of “It Ain’t
Necessarily So”, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Serenade”
from Don Giovanni, Piazzolla’s “Il Retrato di Alfredo Gobbi”
and Shostakovich’s “Galop” on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune on 25th September
2007. On 1st October
2007, they entertained with an evening of traditional jazz at the Red
Violin Festival in Cardiff, Wales.
Natalie Clein performed Julian’s arrangements of Sir Edward Elgar’s
“La Capricieuse, Op. 17”, “Chanson de matin, Op. 15, No.
2”, “In Moonlight”, “Romance, Op. 62”, “Salut
d’amour, Op. 12” and “Sospiri, Op. 70” on her
album, Elgar: Cello Concerto.
Year! Julian was once again
chosen as the host of the Philharmonia’s first podcast in 2008. On 9th February 2008, pianist
Jenny Trew and violinist Sali-Wyn Ryan performed his arrangement of
Piazzolla’s “Libertango” at All Saints Oystermouth
Swansea. Several musicians at
Hochschule fur Musik Karlsruhe interpreted his arrangements of Dvorak’s
“Slawischer Tanz”, Sergei Prokofiev’s “Walzer”
und Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane pour une Infante defunte” on
2nd April 2008. On 2nd
May 2008, Natalie Clein and pianist Kathy Stott performed his arrangements
of Elgar’s “La Capricieuse, Op. 17”, “In Moonlight”
and “Salut d’Amour, Op. 12” at Cadogan Hall as part of
their Celebrity Recital Series.
arrangement of Piazzolla’s “Death of an Angel” was
appended to his “Tango Suite”, morphing it into “Suite
for Four Violins and Bass”, and received its world premiere at La
Jolla SummerFest on 1st August 2008. On 14th August 2008, bassist
Mark Dresser and violinists David Chan, Michelle Kim, Cho-Liang Lin and
Elena Urioste performed his “Carmen Fantasy” at La Jolla
Cove. It also received an
airing at the 2008 Oxford Chamber Music Festival, courtesy of Priya
Mitchell, Daniel Rowland, Sascha Sitkovetsky and Karolina Weltrowska, in the
Holywell Music Room.
performed his arrangement of “Libertango” at the Last Night of
the Proms in 2009. On 13th
August 2009, his re-workings of Jules Massenet’s “Meditation”
from Thais and “Sweet
Georgia Brown” were performed at SummerFest Under the Stars in San Diego, California.
He conducted a
masterclass and workshop at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical Academy
on 29th January 2010.
On 19th February 2010, his “Carmen Fantasy”
and “Don Giovanni’s Lustige Streiche” were included in a
faculty recital at Rice
January 2011, Leila Josefowicz was the soloist when the Philharmonia
performed Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “Concerto para Violino e
Orquestra”, Bela Bartok’s “Musica cordas, percussao e
celesta, Sz 106”, and Ravel’s “Bolero” and “Ma
mere l’Oye (suite)”.
Julian did his own solo turn on 5th March 2011, tackling
Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5” with The City of
Rochester Symphony Orchestra at the Central Theatre in Chatham. On 13th March 2001, he
performed a chamber recital with The Atticus Ensemble at St. Nicholas
Church in Otham. Alison Balsam
and I Musici di Roma interpreted his arrangement of Oskar Lindberg’s “Gammal
fabodpsalm fran Dalarna (Alter Hirtenpsalm aus Dalarna)” on 14th
Some of Julian’s
aforementioned arrangements can be heard on the compilations, Best Cello 50, Best Cello 100, Classical
2009, Essential Cello, Heart Warming Cello, and The London String Sound.