James Judd, Conductor
James Judd was instrumental to the creation of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Then assistant conductor to Claudio Abbado at the European Community Youth Orchestra, he helped the COE members to put together their first concert and contacted his friend – and future Executive Chairman of the COE – Peter Readman, then on honeymoon with his wife Victoria (see Harmony on a Honeymoon), inviting him to join in this adventure. At the COE’s launch concert in 1981, James Judd conducted the first part but noticed Claudio Abbado in the audience at the interval and handed him over the baton. Claudio then conducted the second part of the concert and this was the beginning of the special relationship between the conductor and the COE, which continued for the next two decades.
British conductor James Judd is internationally acclaimed for his remarkable versatility, unique musicianship and charismatic demeanor on and off stage. He is known for his exceptionally communicative style and compelling concerts and his regular performances in concert halls from Vienna to Tokyo are testament to his excellent contact with the public and musicians. His wealth of artistic activities have led him to cooperate with renowned orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Gewandhaus Orchester in Leipzig, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and orchestras in Dallas, St. Louis, Baltimore and Montreal.