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    Sommerville, James (1962 – Present)

    French horn player from Toronto, Ontario, who started playing piano and recorder when he was young but gravitated to the horn when he was in high school.  He attended the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario and completed his music studies in 1982. 

     

    In 1986, he became a member of Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and was their associate principal horn until 1991.  He joined the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 1996 and served as acting principal horn for two years.  In between, he found time to play third horn for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in the autumn of 1997.  He has also been the principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, and Symphony Nova Scotia.  In addition to a busy performing and recording schedule, he has been the conductor and music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic.

     

    On 17th November 2007, he gave the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s “Horn Concerto” with the BSO. 

     

    He and pianist Aimee Tsuchiya reprised portions of the Carter concerto at Fraser Performance Studio where WGBH recorded it in December 2008.

     

    In April 2010, he performed “Horn Concerto No. 2” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the BSO under the baton of Bernard Haitink.

     

    He helped deliver the world premiere of “Octet for Eleven” by Andre Previn at Jordan Hall on 17th October 2010.

     

    On 6th November 2011, members of the BSO and New England Conservatory faculty teamed up for William Bolcom’s “Fairy Tales”, Francis Poulenc’s “Sextet” and Louis Spohr’sNonet” at West Parish Church in Andover, Massachusetts.

     

    The BSO offered up “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland, “Good Friday Procession” by Henri Tomasi, The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, “Serenade for Strings” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and “Serenade in E flat, Op. 7” by Richard Strauss in January 2012.

     

    On 26th March 2012, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players reprised Tchaikovsky’s serenade and bookended it with “Eight Russian Folksongs, Op. 58” by Anatoly Liadov and “Hommage a T.S. Eliot” by Sofia Gubaidulina at Jordan Hall.

     

    Recordings on which James appears include:  Beethoven:  Trio, Op. 11/Brahms:  Trio, Op. 114/Dohnanyi:  Sextet, Op. 37 with the Claremont Trio, Jonathan Cohler and Mai Motobuchi; Chamber Music for Horn with James Mason and Rena Sharon; An Evening from the 18th Century with Ronald Barron; The Glory of Gabrieli with the Empire Brass Quintet; In the Twilight:  Romantic Music for Soprano, Horn and Piano with Annette Betanski and Rena Sharon; Ludwig van Beethoven:  Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 16/Trio in E-flat major, Op. 38 with the Amici Quartet; and, Mozart Horn Concertos with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra.

     

    In the field of music education, he has taught at the Longy School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Sommerville
    2. http://world.std.com/~mbk/mbk_sommerville.htm
    3. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-sommerville/7/a64/1ba
    4. http://www.berkshirelinks.com/bso-haydn-carter-mahler/
    5. http://www.wgbh.org/programs/Live-from-Fraser-Audio-276/episodes/From-Our-Studios-Hornist-James-Sommerville-3902
    6. http://letscallthismusic.com/tag/james-sommerville/
    7. http://web.me.com/julscol/Andover_Chamber_Music/Concert_Schedule.html
    8. http://artsfuse.org/49791/fuse-concert-review-the-bso-handles-a-last-minute-cancellation-with-aplomb/
    9. http://classical-scene.com/2012/03/26/bso-chamber-players-betwixt/
    10. http://www.bso.org/brands/bso/features/january-22-chamber-players.aspx
    11. http://suzukiassociation.org/store/226/
    12. http://www.cduniverse.com/images.asp?pid=1743734&style=classical&image=front&title=Sommerville%2C+James+-+Chamber+Music+For+Horn+CD
    13. http://www.trombone.org/articles/library/viewarticles.asp?ArtID=280
    14. http://www.passionato.com/store/product/empire-brass-the-glory-of-gabrieli#
    15. http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=50179
    16. http://www.classicalarchives.com/album/099402186924.html
    17. http://necmusic.edu/faculty/james-sommerville?lid=2&sid=3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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