Jamie Walton

Profile: Soloist

Born in Germany but moving to the UK at an early age, Jamie Walton has performed as soloist with many great orchestras such as the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras, making his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in ‘13/14. He recently performed Lutos?awski’s concerto in Poland and made his Finnish debut in June ’13 with Bloch’s Schelomo plus Bach and Britten Suites at the Riihimäki Summer Concerts Festival. He gives his South American debut playing Schumann’s concerto with the Santiago de Chile SO in Autumn 2014 alongside making debuts with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales in season ‘14/15. He has already appeared throughout much of Europe, the USA, New Zealand, Australia and the UK playing concertos, recitals and broadcasting in some of the world’s most eminent venues. As a recording artist for Signum Records he has recorded ten concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, including those of Dvo?ák and Schumann with Vladimir Ashkenazy, most recently in Russian repertoire with Okko Kamu and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jamie is as passionate about chamber music as he is as a concerto soloist, recording much of the cello repertoire for Signum Records to significant critical acclaim which includes Britten’s complete works for cello. Reviewing the Britten solo suites recorded at the Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, Geoffrey Norris wrote in the Sunday Telegraph (CD of the week): “ … Jamie Walton’s absorbing performances of all three seem to expose and explore the emotional heart and soul that went into the writing of them. Listen, for example, to the Lamento of the First Suite from 1964, and you immediately have the measure both of Britten’s creative intensity and of Walton’s interpretative breadth and depth. (…) Walton’s range of utterance is rich, subtly inflected and a towering testament to his innate musicality and profound thinking.” A DVD of the Suites recorded in Blythburgh Church by film director Paul Joyce was released (Signum Vision) in February ’14 and premiered on SkyArts.

He was invited by Lorin Maazel to play at his Chateauville Foundation in Virginia, USA, and to perform for HRH The Prince of Wales. Robert Battey’s review in The Washington Post after his debut there with Finghin Collins in January ‘13 said: “Walton is a major cello talent. He sports a particularly strong left hand — dead-center intonation and a wonderful, lithe vibrato that’s alive in every register. Though relatively young, he plays with the dignity and reserve of a well-seasoned artist.” His activities as a player are accompanied by his role as Founder and Artistic Director of the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival (www.northyorkmoorsfestival.com) which he launched in 2009. The festival has exceeded all expectations by selling out every year and is now an established annual event during the last two weeks of August with its artistic excellence reflected when, in summer 2011, it was shortlisted by the Royal Philharmonic Society in the festival category of its ‘Concert Series and Festivals’ award and has attracted the interest of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who is now the festival’s Patron. Jamie is setting up a record label to champion the repertoire of the various festivals to be launched in 2015.

Noted for his rich, powerful sound with a purity of tone and emotionally engaging performance he was one of the great William Pleeth’s last students who said of him: “He is a cellist of outstanding performance ability. Combining warmth of tone with a technical command that reaches dazzling proportions, he leaves little doubt as to the success that lies ahead of him - he is a musician of great integrity whose performance give great pleasure” and has already been compared by some reviewers to great ‘cellists of past times with his distinctive sound and clean interpretations marking him out as a true individualist.

Jamie won a scholarship to Wells Cathedral School in a period which he says remains at the soul of his music making. His first inspirational ‘cello teacher was Margaret Moncrieff before he continued his studies with William Pleeth and, with another scholarship, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he won the prestigious Pierre Fournier Prize. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and has been elected to the Freedom of the City of London. He has also recently been awarded a Foundation Fellowship by Wells Cathedral School for his outstanding contribution to music.

Jamie plays on a Guarneri dated 1712.