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Clark, James

He is a violinist, concertmaster/Leader, conductor and teacher who had some of his early experiences in music as a chorister at King’s College Cambridge where he appeared on several recordings under the leadership of Sir David Willcocks and was the soloist on Christmas Eve’s “Nine Lessons and Carols”. He later entered London’s Royal College of Music in the 1970s where he won several prizes as a student of violin and singing.

When the 1980s came along he was asked to lead the European Youth Orchestra by the conductor Claudio Abbado.  Not too long after that he was given the opportunity to perform with Claudio Abbado again, as well as with other acclaimed conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Sir Georg Solti, when he was offered the position of Leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

He was soon starting to be very active in the field of chamber music and began performing with the Raphael Ensemble, which led to him performing on recordings of sextets by Dvorak and Brahms and more recently works by Frank Bridge.  The ensemble was also regularly featured on radio shows.

He has also been a member of the Endellion Quartet since 1984 and appeared on several recordings of works by Benjamin Britten and toured the United States.

As his reputation grew with his performances of chamber music, he began playing in collaboration with the pianist Richard McMahon and also became called upon to play in the company of many of the world’s leading musicians, which still continues on a regular basis.

In 1985 he became the Leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and after remaining with them for five years and appearing with them on more then 200 radio broadcasts and 50 TV shows he became the Leader of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  He stayed with the SCO for eight years and moved on to join the Philharmonia Orchestra as their joint concertmaster in 1999 where he worked with some of the world’s top conductors and conducted them himself for the first time in 2003.  He went on to join the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as their Leader and made his conducting debut with them in 2009.  With the orchestra he has led a series of Children’s Concerts in 2010.

During the course of his career to date he has performed with all the main symphony orchestras in the UK as well as the Hebrides Ensemble, the Tonhalle Orchestra and Amsterdam’s Concertgebuow.  He has also been invited to Venezuela three times to act as a teacher and conductor of the Simon Bolivar Orchestra.

Aside from his orchestral career in the UK, he takes an active interest in working in musical education as a volunteer in Bosnia and Africa.

Here he is performing on violin on the 1st movement of Alkan’s “Trio in G Minor”, Op. 30..