C A R E E R H I G H L I G H T S
SIR JAMES GALWAY
Sir James Galway is not the first flute player to achieve fame – Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Aurèle Nicolet were big names long before he arrived on the scene – but he was certainly the first to become a global superstar. Not for nothing did he serve as Karajan’s Principal Flute in the Berlin Philharmonic between 1969 and 1975, a role that gave him a ringside seat during a period when classical-music marketing came of age. His regular appearances on television – he had his own show on BBC TV – made him a household name and while he performed a remarkably catholic range of music (John Denver, Pink Floyd, The Chieftains, as well as on Howard Shore’s soundtracks for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy), he has always championed the ‘core’ repertoire and has played a major role in expanding the opportunities for his instrument.
Following study at the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music, Galway’s orchestral jobs included periods with the Philharmonia, LSO, RPO and in the orchestras of Sadler’s Wells and Covent Garden. After joining the Berlin Philharmonic, his distinctive timbre adorned many of Karajan’s recordings – a sinuous Dance of the Seven Veils from Strauss’s Salome or ‘Morning’ from Grieg’s Peer Gynt perfectly illustrate his distinctive role in the Berlin Phil’s legendary wind section. As a soloist, he recorded the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with Karajan for EMI. (He later made a number of recordings of Mozart’s concertante music for flute, one with the harpist Marisa Robles, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and another of this year’s Gramophone Award-winners, Sir Neville Marriner.) Galway’s decision to pursue a solo career was a major disappointment to Karajan but the flautist never looked back.
Galway has recorded pretty well every major work for his instrument, including concertos that range from the Baroque (Devienne, Galuppi, Hasse, Vivaldi and numerous others) to 20thcentury compositions (including works by Nielsen, Arnold and Rodrigo as well as Lennox Berkeley’s concerto version of Poulenc’s Flute Sonata). He has also commissioned concertante works by, among others, Adamo, Amram, Bolcom, Corigliano, Heath, Liebermann and Maazel.
The bulk of Galway’s recorded catalogue is for RCA and to mark his 75th birthday this December, a retrospective box-set is being released that mines his extensive catalogue for the company for which he has, to date, sold over 30 million recordings.
R ECOMMENDED R ECORD I N G S
Galway has long involved himself in music education and has worked hard lobbying successive governments to recognise its paramount importance in children’s lives. Last year he launched First Flute, an online interactive course of lessons for people of all ages who want to learn the flute. He is also Ambassador for the National Foundation for Youth Music, a charity which provides the opportunity for 90,000 children to participate in live music, and the President of Flutewise, a global organisation for players aged eight to 18. James Jolly
Mozart Flute & Flute and Harp Concertos Galway fl Robles hp ASMF / Marriner RCA Red Seal M 82876 59409-2 (7/97) Bach Flute Sonatas Galway fl Cunningham bass viol Moll hpd RCA Red Seal F 88697 58737-2 (6/95) ‘James Galway plays Flute Concertos’ Various artists RCA Red Seal S l 88697 82812-2 ‘My Magic Flute’ Mozart arrangements Sols incl Jeanne Galway fl Finch hp Sinfonia Varsovia DG F 477 6233 (12/06)
Jonas Kaufmann WINNER: Solo Vocal Award
Sir James Galway WINNER: Lifetime Achievement Award
Arcadi Volodos WINNER: Instrumental Award
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GRAMOPHONE AWARDS 2014 15