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. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in over 35 countries with over 60 orchestras including the Boston Pops, the 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 an ailing Benny Goodman on a tour of California) and Vermeer. Of his over 50 recordings, the BBC and The Times of London rated his recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet as the best available. He has been named Canada’s Artist of the Year, awarded the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honourary Doctor of Laws, and has recently been inducted into the CBC’s Classical Music Hall of Fame.
James Campbell has been Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound, since 1985, the annual summer Canadian chamber music festival, and has programmed over 1500 concerts for the festival. Under his direction the Festival has traveled to England, Japan, and the Netherlands and it has been the subject of documentaries by BBC Television, CBC Television and TV Ontario. He has also been a professor at the famed Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University from 1988-2019. His students now occupy positions in the Boston Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and St Louis Symphony, to name a few.
Campbell is the subject of numerous features and cover stories in Clarinet Magazine (USA), Clarinet and Sax (UK), Piper Magazine (Japan), Gramophone, and in the book Clarinet Virtuosi of Today, by British author and clarinet authority Pamela Weston.
He has now returned home to Canada and continues to give concerts and masterclasses throughout the world.