Photo: Miguel Alonso
“Music is a great healer because it brings people together to actually transform and save lives.”
– James Judd
British-born conductor James Judd is sought after for both his passionate musicianship and his charismatic presence on and off the podium. Known for his extraordinarily communicative style and bold, imaginative programming, repeat engagements in concert halls around the world attest to his rapport with audiences and musicians alike. In addition to leading established, large musical groups, Judd has excelled as a youth and chamber orchestra conductor.
In the US, Judd was an assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, and served as associate music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra. Judd made his U.S. Opera debut in 1988 conducting Don Giovanni for the Florida Grand Opera. Judd was the last full-time Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic, from 1987 to 2001. In 2013, Judd was appointed Music Director of The Little Orchestra Society.
Judd served as music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), the first NZSO conductor with that title, from 1999 to 2007. He conducted several recordings with the NZSO for the Naxos label, and led the NZSO in its first-ever appearance at The Proms in August 2005. Judd now holds the title of Music Director Emeritus of the NZSO.
In 2014, Judd became Music Director of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion. He offered to waive his salary in 2015, in the wake of financial difficulties at the orchestra. In September 2016, Judd was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea. He became chief conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra as of the 2017-2018 season