James Galway

Composers

Biography

Born: December 8, 1939; Belfast, Ireland  
Rivaled in fame among contemporary flutists only by Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway has earned both runaway popularity and critical respect. He has embraced the flute repertoire of all eras, including contemporary music. Part of his popularity is due to his sparkling, lively stage personality, which occasionally leads observers to compare him to a leprechaun.

In one interview, piqued by this recurrent comment on his Irishness, he pointed
Read more out that he came not from idyllic emerald green surroundings, but from the sooty industrial region of Belfast, within sight of the shipyard where the Titanic was built. He began to play the penny whistle when he was two years old, and he often uses the instrument in his encores. At least one of the concertos written for him also calls for him to substitute whistle for flute in several passages. When he started regular flute lessons, he developed quickly and won three top prizes in a local flute contest just two years later.

At that point Galway decided to make flute playing a career. He studied at London's Royal College of Music and Guildhall School. His first professional job was with the wind band at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. He then spent 15 years as an orchestral player, most notably as first-chair flutist in the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan (1969-1975). Finally he decided to give up the security of an orchestral job to become a touring soloist and chamber player. In his first season he made 120 appearances. Soon his charm and the rich yet light tone of his gold-plated A.K. Cooper flute were familiar to concert audiences around the world. He also held a teaching position at the Eastman School of Music in the United States.

Galway's success has been due partly to the wide range of his repertoire. He has performed traditional flute repertoire in both orchestral and chamber settings. He is committed to renewing that repertoire through the introduction of new music and has commissioned works from composers including Henri Lazarof, Thea Musgrave, John Corigliano, and Lowell Liebermann. And, though he once stated that he intended to avoid pops or crossover repertoire, he has often released top-selling recordings of this kind. His personality transmits well over television, and part of his unusually wide popularity for a classical musician has come through broadcasts on the BBC and elsewhere. He has participated in Irish music recordings, often with the famous Irish band The Chieftains (as on 2002's Celtic Spectacular, and in the 1980s he collaborated with the U.S. country singer Sylvia on The Wayward Wind. The late 1990s saw the release of such Galway albums as Unbreak My Heart, consisting of flute-and-orchestra settings of top cinematic hits, and Tango del Fuego, Galway's contribution to the growing tango craze.

In 2001, Galway was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2003, his flute was heard on the soundtrack of the popular film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. His wife Jeanne Galway is also an accomplished flutist who has performed together with her husband and on her own. Galway has also contributed much to the cause of flute scholarship in editing old flute works for publication, for example Theobald Boehm's 1848 12 Grand Studies, Op. 15. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Sony Classical Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 532035 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Martha Argerich,  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Martha Argerich,  Claudio Abbado
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  • 2.
    The Tokyo String Quartet plays Haydn & Mozart
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875124582 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  James Galway,  Richard Stoltzman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
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  • 3.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $184.99
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  • 4.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Really Like This!
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74698 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Woodhouse,  Paul Meyer,  Kolja Blacher,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eduardo Mata,  Gustav Kuhn,  Mark Stephenson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 5.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 6.
    The Baroque Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 73420 Release Date: 10/22/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Palestrina  ... 
    Performer:  Xavier Darasse,  Maurice André,  Guy Touvron,  Pierre Pierlot  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Auriacombe,  Jörg Faerber,  Jacques Roussel,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Chamber Orchestra,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra,  Antiqua Musica  ... 
    CD: $62.99
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  • 7.
    The Claude Debussy Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 193179 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Ann Murray,  Nathalie Stutzmann,  Leslie Caron  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Pierre Boulez,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $62.49
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  • 8.
    James Galway plays Flute Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 82812 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Stamitz  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Rainer Wolters,  Ursula Duetschler,  John Mayer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  James Galway,  André Prieur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn,  I Solisti di Zagreb  ... 
    CD: $42.99
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  • 9.
    Bach: Trio Sonatas Vol 2 / James Galway
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68182 Release Date: 05/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Phillip Moll,  Sarah Cunningham,  James Galway,  Monica Huggett  ... 
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  • 10.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 381 Release Date: 02/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tison Street,  Henri Lazarof,  Loren Rush
    Performer:  Marcus Thompson,  James Galway
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concord String Quartet,  San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
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  • 11.
    A Beautiful Thing / Cleo Laine
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61664 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stevie Wonder,  Donovan Leitch,  Stephen Sondheim,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Roy Markowitz,  Cliff Morris,  Tony Hymas,  Cleo Laine  ... 
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  • 12.
    Best Film 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31673 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  James Horner  ... 
    Performer:  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Gérard Caussé,  Augustin Dumay  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  Richard Hickox,  David Abel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 13.
    Eduardo Mata Edition Vol 2 - Strauss, Rodrigo, Wiren
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 30978 Release Date: 09/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Dag Wirén
    Performer:  James Galway
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  National Arts Centre Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Eduardo Mata Edition Vol 1 - Mozart
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 30977 Release Date: 08/06/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  James Galway,  Marisa Robles
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  National Arts Centre Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    50 Best Mozart
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57524 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emile Naoumoff,  Jack Brymer,  Christian Zacharias,  Frank Peter Zimmermann  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Neville Marriner,  David Zinman  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 16.
    50 Best Relaxing Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57547 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Gabriel Fauré,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Kalafusz,  Stephen Farr,  Han-Na Chang,  Jacqueline Du Pré  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Sir Neville Marriner,  David Hill,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra Wind and Brass Ensemble
    CD: $13.99
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  • 17.
    James Galway - 60 Flute Masterpieces Vol 8 - 20th Century II
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63440 Release Date: 01/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Lowell Liebermann,  Carl Nielsen,  Malcolm Arnold,  John Carmichael  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Gareth Hulse,  Rachel Gough,  Philip Eastop  ... 
    Conductor:  Lowell Liebermann,  James Galway,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 18.
    James Galway Plays The Music Of Sir Malcolm Arnold
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68860 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold
    Performer:  James Galway,  Rachel Gough,  Philip Eastop,  Antony Pay  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 19.
    James Galway - Celebrating 70: A Collection Of Personal Favorites
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 742201 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  François Joseph Gossec,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Marisa Robles,  Sarah Cunningham,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  James Galway,  Eduardo Mata,  Charles Gerhardt,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti di Zagreb,  London Symphony Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    Vivaldi: Concerti For Flute / Galway, Scimone
    Label: Hardy Classics   Catalog: 4039 Release Date: 06/02/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  James Galway,  Jeanne Galway
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti
    DVD: $33.99
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  • 21.
    James Galway - Mozart
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63435 Release Date: 04/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  James Galway,  Kazuhide Isomura,  Sadao Harada,  Peter Oundjian  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Eduardo Mata,  André Prieur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet members,  Lucerne Festival Strings,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Impressions - Debussy, Ravel / Tokyo String Quartet
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62552 Release Date: 04/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Sadao Harada,  Kazuhide Isomura,  Peter Oundjian,  Kikuei Ikeda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
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  • 23.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Walton,  Dennis Brain,  Lothar Koch,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    Relax - The World's Most Beautiful Music - Music For The Soul - 36 Tracks
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17279 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Karl Jenkins,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Sabine Meyer,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Paul Beniston,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk,  Alberto Lysy,  Karl Jenkins,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Weimar,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Camerata Lysy  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Classic Aid Gala 1988
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422379 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Henri Wieniawski,  Traditional,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Estes,  Ingolf Turban,  James Galway,  Shirley Verrett  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Orchestra of France
    ArkivCD $16.99
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