British conductor James Judd's music directorships have included the New Zealand Symphony, a groundbreaking 14 years at the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and now The Little Orchestra Society of New York. During his eight years as Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony, Judd garnered acclaim for his recordings with the orchestra, including works by Copland, Bernstein, Vaughan Williams, Gershwin and many others. He brought the orchestra to international renown through appearances at many festivals, and led the orchestra on its first tour of the major concert halls of Europe, culminating with the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille in France and is currently Artistic Advisor for the classical series at Florida's Broward Center, and artist in residence at Florida International University.
James Judd's live recordings of Mahler's Symphonies No. 9 with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and No. 10 with the European Community Youth Orchestra were enthusiastically received, and his performance of Elgar's Symphony No. 1 with the Hallé Orchestra is still a highly-regarded reference standard among conductors today. The most recent addition to his discography is a recording with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on the Decca label.
Mr. Judd came to international attention as the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra at the invitation of Lorin Maazel. Four years later, he returned to Europe after being appointed Associate Music Director of the European Community Youth Orchestra by Claudio Abbado. Since that time, James Judd has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic, conducted in the great halls of Europe including the Salzburg Mozarteum and Vienna's Musikverein, and made guest appearances with such prestigious ensembles as the Vienna Symphony, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Prague Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Monte Carlo Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, and the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg. In the Far East, he works regularly with Tokyo's NHK Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic.
Dedication to the development of young musicians and a passionate belief in the transformative power of music have inspired James Judd to make an important place in his life for this work. Since 2007 he has been Principal Conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), an ensemble of the most gifted musicians from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea. For more than twenty years the AYO has brought these young musicians across political, social and religious boundaries to perform with some of the finest conductors and soloists in the world. The highly successful Miami Music Project, which he founded in 2008, uses music on El Sistema lines as an instrument for social transformation, enabling children to achieve their full potential while positively influencing their society through the study and performance of music.
James Judd is the co-founder of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which he led on tours throughout the United States, the Far East and Europe. In North and South America he is a frequent and much admired guest conductor, having appeared with the orchestras of St. Louis, Montreal, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Seattle, Indianapolis, Utah, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
His performances of Holst's 'The Planets' with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, where he replaced Mariss Jansons at short notice, brought standing ovations. Other highlights of recent seasons include concerts with the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Evgeny Kissin as soloist, the Hungarian National Orchestra, the Beijing Symphony with Vadim Repin, and the Vienna Symphony with performances of Elgar's oratorio 'The Dream of Gerontius'.
Last season featured concerts with the Japan Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra and with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra in Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and concerts in cities as diverse as San Juan, Tel Aviv, Melbourne and Taipei. Last summer began with James Judd at the Istanbul Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and opening the Féstival de Radio France in Montpellier with Leonard Bernstein's 'Mass', prior to touring Asia with his Asian Youth Orchestra. He conducted Britten's 'War Requiem' at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest.James Judd recently became Music Director of New York's Little Orchestra Society, an organisation renowned for its unconventional and innovative programming, with which he has had great success in their series at Lincoln Center and elsewhere.
James Judd is well known, one of the best conductors around, and the Royal Liverpool Band plays with suavity and a lot of tonal beauty. A very enjoyable disc indeed, recorded in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall with great clarity and depth. Audiophile 13 November 2012
On ne peut qu'admirer la précision mathématique, quasi miraculeuse, du chef d'orchestre britannique James Judd : pas un décalage dans les rangs, choraux ou instrumentaux, pas un raté dans les enchaînements avec la musique enregistrée.
One can only admire the mathematical precision, almost miraculous, of the British conductor James Judd: not a single displacement in the ranks, choral or instrumental, not a single failure in the sequences with recorded music. (Bernstein 'Mass', Festival de Radio France) Le Monde, 15 July 2013
L'orchestra si comporta molto bene sotto la guida di James Judd, che mentre batte il tempo non si dimentica di "disegnare" le emozioni che l'orchestra deve "dipingere".
The orchestra (Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome) performs very well under the leadership of James Judd, who, while beating time does not forget to design the emotions that the orchestra must paint. &"