World-renowned flutist Sir James Galway will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Music by the University of Rochester when he performs on NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19. The series was brought to Rochester by WXXI and the University’s Eastman School of Music to record a program in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for broadcast on Sunday, April 6, at 5 p.m. on Classical 91.5 FM.
Nicknamed “The Man with the Golden Flute,” Sir James Galway is regarded as both the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire and a consummate entertainer. He and From the Top host Christopher O’Riley have appeared together on several occasions and will perform together on the March 19 program along with Sir James’s wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, a renowned flutist in her own right. In addition, Sir James will join an ensemble of young musicians from the Eastman School of Music and Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra to play the third and fourth movements of the Gounod Petite symphonie.
Belfast born, Sir James studied in London and Paris before embarking on his orchestral career in such prestigious orchestras as the Sadlers Wells & Royal Covent Garden Operas, The BBC, Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra, before taking up the coveted position of solo flutist with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan.
Since launching his successful career as a soloist in 1975, Sir James’s busy touring schedule sees him performing with the world’s leading orchestras and most prestigious conductors, presenting definitive treatments of classical repertoire and masterworks as well as featuring contemporary music. His discography of more than 65 CDs ranges from the great classics such as Mozart and Bach and his performance on the sound track of Lord of the Rings (Return of the King), to his recording of O’Reilly Street with the Cuban timba group Tiempo Libre, and reflects his mastery of musical diversity.
Sir James and Lady Jeanne are committed to education, and hold a 10-day “Galway Flute Festival” each year in Switzerland. Through these festivals and numerous other classes held worldwide throughout the year, they continue to mentor students they’ve met through their work.
Sir James has played for such dignitaries as Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President George H.W. Bush, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Prince Charles, HRH The Princess Royal, The Empress of Japan, The Queen of Norway, Princess Diana, TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Kent, and most recently President Shimon Peres, and shared the stage with an amazing array of entertainers including Stevie Wonder, Henry Mancini, John Denver, Elton John, the Chieftains, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, Jessye Norman, Cleo Laine and Andrea Bocelli.
Among his many honors and awards are the Grammy President’s Merit Award; Classic Brits Lifetime Achievement Award; The Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame; and The National Concert Hall Dublin Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been honored twice by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with The OBE in 1979 and again in 2001 with a Knighthood for his services to music.
# # #