Globally renowned as the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire, Sir James Galway is a consummate performer whose appeal transcends all musical boundaries.
With over 30 million recordings sold worldwide, extensive international touring, frequent television appearances, tireless promotion of the arts and his passionate work in music education, Galway has been a household name for decades. His uniquely expressive interpretations of the flute literature span an extensive range of genres, from classical masterworks to high profile commissions, and provide the benchmark standard for all modern flautists. He has also collaborated on film soundtracks such as The Lord of the Rings, and partnered such popular artists as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell and Sir Elton John. The diversity of Galway’s repertoire reflects his impressive musical range, and has served to establish him as an artist of the very highest stature.
A native of Northern Ireland, Galway began his flute studies in Belfast. At the age of 16, he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, followed by studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Paris Conservatoire. At the age of 21, he embarked on his orchestral career in London’s major opera and symphonic orchestras. He took up the coveted position of solo flautist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan in 1969, before becoming one of the very first flautists to establish an international solo career in 1975. He has a vast discography with 98 CDs to his name, having enjoyed recording contracts with Sony Classics and Deutsche Grammophon and most recently the RTE Label, featuring his recording of “Linen and Lace” by Bill Whelan.
He maintains his busy international touring schedule, continuing to appear at major venues and festivals with many of the world’s top orchestras and conductors. Upcoming highlights for the 18-19 season include major recital and concerto tours of Europe (UK, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland & France) and the United States.
A strong supporter of the arts and charitable causes, Galway devotes much of his free time to furthering music education, sharing his wisdom and experience with the musical generation of tomorrow. The Galway Flute Academy, Sir James and Lady Galway’s educational platform, enables them to nurture and mentor flutists of all levels through their various programs (www.galwayfluteacademy.com). Current teaching residencies include the Royal Irish Academy Dublin, Ireland; The Royal College of Music London and The Birmingham Conservatoire, UK; and The Frost School of Music - University of Miami, USA, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate of Music and presented the commencement address in May 2018.