University of Rochester
Violist James Dunhams’s rich background includes having been founding
member of the Naumburg Award winning Sequoia String Quartet and
subsequently violist of the Grammy Award winning Cleveland Quartet. An
impassioned advocate of new music, he has premiered and recorded many
works written for him: his recording of Judith Shatin’s “Glyph” for solo
viola and piano quintet was praised by Fanfare Magazine as
“reverent…beautifully, skillfully written” and “the playing here by
soloist James Dunham is stunning: resonant and vital.” American composer
Libby Larsen has written two works for Mr. Dunham and his colleagues:
the Viola Sonata (2001) and the song cycle “Sifting Through the Ruins”
(2005) for mezzo-soprano, viola and piano. Both appear on the CD “Circle
of Friends” by Libby Larsen.
A frequent guest with ensembles such as the American, Jupiter, and
Takács Quartets, Mr. Dunham is violist of the Axelrod String Quartet, in
residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where the
group performs on their collection of Nicolò Amati and Stradivari
Highlights of recent seasons include performing the Shostakovich Sonata with pianist Vladimir Feltsman, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante
with Queen Elisabeth Competition lauriate Will Hagen, and a three-week
tour of their home country with the New Zealand String Quartet. Upcoming
events include a residency and recital at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy”
in Leipzig, Germany, and multiple performances at the 2017 Aspen Music
Festival, including quintets with the Takács String Quartet. Mr. Dunham
is featured regularly in concerts, master classes and competition juries
throughout the U.S. and abroad, adjudicating twice for the Osaka
International Chamber Music Competition and in May 2017 as a Senior
Division juror for the Fischoff Chamber Music Competiton.
Mr. Dunham is Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Rice
University’s Shepherd School of Music where he also co-directs its
Master of Music in String Quartet program.
Formerly on the faculty of California Institute of the Arts and the
Eastman School of Music, he chaired the String Department at the New
England Conservatory of Music for six years where he received the Louis
& Adrienne Krasner Teaching Excellence Award.
Summer activities include yearly participation in the Aspen, Sarasota
and Amelia Island (FL) Music Festivals as well as frequent appearances
at the Texas Music Festival, le Domaine Forget (Quebec), Garth Newel Center, Heifetz International Music Institute and La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest.
His recordings can be found on labels including Telarc, Innova, Nonesuch, Delos, Naxos and Crystal. www.JamesDunham.com
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