to all as "Skip," Layton James has
been principal keyboard artist with The Saint Paul Chamber
Orchestra since 1969, performing on instruments including the
harpsichord, piano, organ, celesta and synthesizer. Acknowledged
as an outstanding chamber musician, orchestra soloist and keyboard
improviser in the Baroque style, James is also a conductor
and composer who has established an international reputation
as a composer of cadenzas for Baroque and Classical concertos.
For the SPCO, he has conducted Holiday concerts and the annual "People's Messiah."
recent composition projects include a realization of the Bach
B-Minor Partita, originally for solo violin, for full string
orchestra, which was premiered by Steven Copes and the SPCO
in April 2002. Another commission, Water Music, was
recently performed at the Fourth of July celebrations at the
Lake Harriet bandshell.
an arranger, Skip has scored Christmas Carols, organ music,
and choral selections for the SPCO Holiday Concerts, Cantus
and Carols. His most recent commission was the setting of our
National Anthem for the SPCO. His choral works are published
by MorningStar, Cantica Nova, and Augsburg Fortress. He has
performed with the Atlanta and Saint Louis symphonies, the
Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra,
and summer festivals with the Lake Placid Sinfonietta (New
York), Music at Gretna (Pennsylvania), Music in the Vineyards
and Village Bach Festival (Cass City, Michigan).
is Music Director and organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in
Hudson, Wisconsin, and has been clinician for the American
Choral Directors Association and the American Guild of Organists.
He has performed as organist and harpsichordist on several
LifeStyle Records albums, and is featured harpsichordist on
Robert Shaw's 1984 and 1987 recordings of Handel's Messiah.
a builder of harpsichords, James plays one of his instruments
with the SPCO. He trained as a musicologist under Dr. Donald
Grout at Cornell University and has taught music history and
performance practice courses at the University of Hawaii, Stanford,
Cornell, Macalester College and Westminster Choir College.
James presents the popular "Fanfare" pre-concert
talks before SPCO Basically Baroque and Morning
Coffee concerts. In his spare time, he is an enthusiastic
trout fisherman and amateur chef.
music by Layton James