A Juno award winner and Order of Canada recipient, James Campbell has been called ‘Canada’s pre-eminent clarinetist and wind soloist’ by the Toronto Star, ‘a national treasure’ by the CBC, and ‘one of the top half dozen clarinetists in the world today’ by Fanfare Magazine.
James has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in more than 35 countries with over 65 orchestras, including the Boston Pops, London Symphony and Philharmonic, and every major orchestra in Canada. He has collaborated with Glenn Gould and Aaron Copland and toured with over 35 string quartets, including the Guarneri, Amadeus (when he replaced Benny Goodman on a tour of California) and Vermeer. Of his more than 50 recordings, the BBC and The Times UK rated his recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet as the best available. He was named Canada’s Artist of the Year, awarded the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honorary Doctor of Laws, and was recently inducted into the CBC’s Classical Music Hall of Fame.
James has been the Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound, the annual summer Canadian chamber music festival, since 1985 and has programmed over 1500 concerts for the festival. Under his direction, the festival has travelled to England, Japan and the Netherlands, and been the subject of documentaries by BBC Television, CBC Television and TV Ontario.
From 1988-2019, James was a Professor of Music at the famed Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. His former students now occupy positions in orchestras such including Boston Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and St Louis Symphony, professorships in numerous conservatories worldwide, and Grammy-nominated performers.
James is the subject of numerous features and cover stories in Clarinet Magazine (USA), Clarinet and Sax (UK), Piper Magazine (Japan), and Gramophone, and is featured in the book ‘Clarinet Virtuosi of Today’ by British author and clarinet authority Pamela Weston.
James lives in Canada and continues to give concerts and masterclasses worldwide.