James Thompson

James Thompson's Biography

James Thompson is currently Professor of Trumpet at the renowned Eastman School of Music. He came to this position after having played Principal Trumpet in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since September 1990. He has held corresponding positions with the Phoenix Symphony, the Orchestra of the State of Mexico, the National Symphony of Mexico, and for 14 years, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He is also on the faculties of Music Academy of the West and the Lake Placid International Trumpet Seminar.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he was raised in Phoenix, Arizona where he began trumpet studies at the age of ten. His principal teachers included Richard Longfield and Roger Voisin. Mr. Thompson has been active both as a soloist and a teacher. He has taught trumpet and Brass Ensemble at Northern Arizona University, the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, and McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has performed as soloist with orchestras in North and South America as well as Europe. In 1979 he competed in the first Maurice André International Trumpet Competition and was a prizewinner. He has made recital tours of Asia, North and South America as well as most of Europe. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Opening Ceremonies he was seen performing a jazz/gospel trumpet solo on television by more than 3 billion people. Since joining the faculty of the Eastman School he has performed as guest Principal Trumpet with orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the Baltimore, Seattle, and Boston Symphony’s. Mr. Thompson has also actively encouraged new compositions for the trumpet. In 1987 he performed the world premiere of Malcolm Forsyth’s Concerto for Trumpet, which was written for him and the Montreal Symphony. He has recorded this concerto with the Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra for CBC Records in May 1992. In 1990 he performed the Quebec premier of Jacques Hetu’s Trumpet Concerto, and in March of 1992 he gave the world premier of the Glenn Buhr Concerto for Trumpet, also written for him and the Montreal Symphony. Mr. Thompson can be heard on over 80 CDs with the Montreal and Atlanta Symphonies, as well as solo and chamber recordings. His recordings of the Shoshtakovitch Concerto #1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings and Mahler Symphony #5 were Stereo Review’s records of the Month.

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