james clark, biography

James Clark, FRNCM, ARCM
Violinist and Conductor


James Clark is a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music where he teaches solo playing, Chamber Music, and gives Masterclasses on Orchestra Leadership and all aspects of orchestral playing.

His 40 year musical career reflects a wide range of accomplishment. He has played chamber music with, amongst others, Stephen Kovacevich, Mikhail Pletnev, Steven Isserlis, Michael Collins, Adrian Brendel and Simon Trpceski and toured the world with the Endellion Quartet and the Raphael Ensemble. James has held Leading positions with the Philharmonia Orchestra London, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Guest-Led the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Nash Ensemble. He was the first Leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from 1981 to 1984.


As a recitalist and soloist, he has given some 30 radio broadcasts and appears on discs as diverse as Bach and Maxwell Davies Violin Concertos, Alkan Chamber Works and Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time (which has had over 1 million views on YouTube). His recording of Vaughan Williams Lark Ascending has also been played many times on radio. Other chamber music discs include Brahms and Dvorak Sextets, Frank Bridge Quintets and Benjamin Britten String Quartets.

As a conductor, James has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC NOW and the RSNO. He conducted a series of concerts of the music of the Strauss family with the RLPO and Classic FM’s John Suchet and has visited Venezuela several times to teach as part of El Sistema, conducting the Simon Bolivar Orchestra at the invitation of Gustavo Dudamel.


As a Chorister at King’s College Cambridge, he sang solo at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. BBC Radio 3’s Building A Library chose the 1972 recording of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols as their recommended version with James singing Treble Solo.

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