Principal / Helen Sagoff Slosberg/Edna S. Kalman chair, endowed in perpetuity
James Sommerville became principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1998, occupying the Helen Sagoff Slosberg/Edna S. Kalman Chair. As principal horn, he is also a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Mr. Sommerville is also music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Winner of the highest prizes at the Munich, Toulon, and CBC competitions, he has pursued a solo career spanning thirty years and has made critically acclaimed appearances with major orchestras throughout North America and Europe. His disc of the Mozart horn concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada. Other award-winning CBC recordings include Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings and Britten's Canticle. He has recorded chamber music for Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc, CBC, Summit, Marquis, and BSO Classics. Mr. Sommerville has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and Symphony Nova Scotia, and was acting solo horn of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has toured and recorded extensively as an orchestral player, is heard regularly on the CBC network, and has recorded all of the standard solo horn repertoire for broadcast. As a guest artist and faculty member, he has performed at chamber music festivals worldwide. Solo performances have included the world premiere of Christos Hatzis's Winter Solstice; the North American premiere of Ligeti's Hamburg Concerto with the BSO; John Williams's Horn Concerto; the world premiere of Elliott Carter's Horn Concerto, commissioned for him by the BSO; and the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Sign of the Leviathan, a TMC 75th-anniversary commission, with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Mr. Sommerville has himself commissioned and premiered a great deal of music by young composers, including works ranging from solo horn to full orchestra. Other solo appearances with the BSO have included Richard Strauss's Horn Concerto No. 1, Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Frank Martin's Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion, and String Orchestra, Mozart's Horn Concertos 1 and 2 (the latter on forty-eight hours' notice with Bernard Haitink conducting), Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, and Mozart's Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for winds, K.297b. As a conductor, Mr. Sommerville has appeared with many professional orchestras and ensembles throughout Canada and the U.S.
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