Principal conductor

James Judd, dirigent, foto Peter Brenkus ZZ 5063

British conductor James Judd is internationally acclaimed for his remarkable versatility, unique musicianship and charismatic demeanor on and off stage. He is known for his exceptionally communicative style and compelling concerts and his regular performances in concert halls from Vienna to Tokyo are testament to his excellent contact with the public and musicians. His wealth of artistic activities have led him to cooperate with renowned orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Gewandhaus Orchester in Leipzig, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and orchestras in Dallas, St. Louis, Baltimore and Montreal.

Judd is a prominent interpreter of British orchestral music and has recorded Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 with the Halle Orchestra, which has brought him wide recognition from Elgar admirers. He has recorded extensively for the Naxos label in cooperation with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, where he was later appointed as Honorary Music Director. His recordings of works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin have been very well received. He has conducted the works of Gustav Mahler on international stages and his recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 was awarded the Gold Medal by Diapason in France and by Toblacher Komponierhäuschen for Best Recording of the Year. Maestro Judd has also recorded extensively for Decca, EMI and Philips.

Apart from his concert activities, James Judd is a regular guest on opera stages like the English National Opera, Wexford Festival and Glyndebourne Opera Festival, where he has conducted opera productions of Il trovatore, La traviata, Rigoletto, the Barbier of Seville, the Marriage of Figaro and Cinderella. Between 1993 and 1996 he was Artistic Director of the opera house Florida Grand Opera where he studied in operas like Don Giovanni, the Masked Ball, La Boheme, Madame Butterfly and others. Besides opera productions he has conducted the concert versions of the operas Tannhäuser, Fidelio and La clemenza di Tito. He has also participated in recording the complete opera works of Meyerbeer and Donizetti.

After completing his music studies at London Trinity College he became Lorin Maazel’s assistant in Cleveland. After two years in the USA he returned to Europe where he became Executive Director of the European Community Youth Orchestra, whose Chief Conductor was Claudio Abbado. James Judd was Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic for fourteen years during which this originally small regional ensemble became an orchestra of note. Thanks to the introduction of innovative programs, the positive public response and support for its especially successful summer festival, the ensemble enjoyed significant artistic growth. Together with the Florida Philharmonic he made recordings of the works of Walton, Bernstein and Mahler which received numerous awards.

He accepted the position of Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for a period of eight years and during this time contri buted immensely to the artistic development of the ensemble and gained recognition on international concert stages. Under his leadership the orchestra undertook its first concert tour of Europe, performing in renowned halls like the Concertgebouw and Royal Albert Hall.

Maestro Judd has actively cooperated as Principal Guest Conductor with the Orchestre National de Lille and the Adelaide Symphony. In 2008 he established the Miami Music Project in Southern Florida which received ge nerous support from the John and James Knight Foundation for the enhancement of education and training, providing performing opportunities for hundreds of children from different social backgrounds and underprivileged communities in the city. The Miami Music Project, inspired by the Venezuelan model El Sistema, opened a music academy for teaching in the Miami communities Doral and Little Haiti and is planning to open another academy in Little Havana and Liberty City. The project provides talented young musicians with the opportunity to practise and play orchestral works with the Miami Youth Orchestra.

Last season James Judd cooperated with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Metropolitan Orchestra of Tokyo, Slovenian National Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony and, at the Festival George Enescu in Bucharest, performed Britten’s War Requiem with the National Radio Orchestra. In September 2016 he was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra. In November 2016 he conducted the opening concert of the Slovak Philharmonic as part of the Bratislava Music Festival.

Maestro Judd is the Music Director of the Little Orchestra Society of New York and Chief Conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra. Until January 2017 he also held the position of Music Director of the Israel Symphony Orchestra in Rishon LeZion (ISO). From the 2017/2018 concert season James Judd is the Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, during which he will be conducting seven pairs of subscription concerts and the opening concert of the 2017 Bratislava Music Festival.