James Sommerville is Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After willing the highest prizes at the Munich International Competition, Concours de Toulon and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Young Performers’ competition, with the support of the CBC and generous grants from the Canada Council and the Macmillan Foundation, Mr. Sommerville embarked on a solo career that has seen him appear with all of the major Canadian orchestras, the Radio orchestras of Bavaria and Berlin, and many others throughout North America and Europe, to unanimous critical acclaim. In 1999-2000, engagements included solo appearances in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, and Chicago, and chamber music in Boston, Toronto, Quebec, Montreal, New Hampshire, and Colorado Springs.
Mr. Sommerville’s recording of the Mozart Horn Concerti with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the 1998 JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada. His CBC recordings of the Britten Serenade and Canticle III were also nominated for Junos in 1999 and 1997. Mr. Sommerville has recorded chamber music on the Deutsche Gramophon, Telarc, CBC, Summit, and Marquis Labels. As a former member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and as acting solo horn of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 1996-98, he has toured and recorded extensively as an orchestral player.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Sommerville is heard regularly on the CBC network, for which he has recorded all of the standard horn repertoire for broadcast. He has performed as guest artist and faculty member at many chamber music festivals, including the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, Scotia Festival, Festival of the Sound, Domaine Forget, and the Banff International Festival of the Arts. Mr. Sommerville also devotes his talents to the performance of early music on period instruments, and, through the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council, has commissioned many new works; most recently, the Keith Bergs concerto for Horn and Brass Ensemble, recently released on the Opening Day record label with the Hannaford Street Band and Bramwell Tovey. Mr. Sommerville teaches at the New England Conservatory and at Boston University.