Jablonski, Marek (Michael)



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James, (Richard) Ifor


(b Carlisle, 30 Aug 1931). English horn player. His mother was a soprano and his father a notable brass band cornet player. He studied at the RAM in London with Aubrey Brain, and in 1953 joined the Hallé Orchestra, where he later played as principal; in 1955 he became principal of the Liverpool PO. In 1964 he moved to London to concentrate on solo repertory; he also freelanced with many London orchestras and played with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. He has specialized in playing high Baroque parts on the B/F-alto horn, conferring a new degree of acceptability on that instrument. He has given the first performances of concertos by Fricker and Hoddinott, and works by McCabe, Whettam and Wilfred Josephs. During the 1970s he took up conducting brass bands, and has commissioned works from composers outside this field, including Edward Gregson (Tuba Concerto). He was appointed to teach at the RAM in 1964 and the RNCM in 1972, and in 1983 became professor at the Hochschule in Freiburg.

James has contributed to British horn playing a fusion of the style of Aubrey and Dennis Brain with the technical facility of brass band playing: he excels in fast technical passages, and has an expressive response to melodic line in music of all periods; unlike most British players he is prepared to use a degree of vibrato. His recordings include Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with Benjamin Britten, concertos by Haydn, Mozart and Richard Strauss, and ensemble works.

OLIVER BROCKWAY



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