James Dunham, Viola
James Dunham, viola, has a rich background that includes having been violist of the Grammy Award–winning Cleveland Quartet and the Naumburg Award-winning Sequoia Quartet. He frequently collaborates with the American, Jupiter, Pacifica, Takács, and Ying Quartets and is currently violist of the Axelrod Quartet, in residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. This past season he performed in Seoul, Korea and returned to the jury of the Osaka International Chamber Music competition. An advocate of new music, Mr. Dunham has premiered and recorded Libby Larsen’s Viola Sonata (2001) and Sifting Through the Ruins (2005) for viola, mezzo-soprano (Susanne Mentzer) and piano. With the Diotima Quartet of France he recently premiered Richard Lavenda’s Viola Quintet, and his just-released recording of Judith Shatin’s Glyph, for solo viola and piano quintet, has received rave reviews. Fanfare Magazine (July/August 2014) praised the work as “reverent…beautifully, skillfully written” and noted that “the playing here by soloist James Dunham is stunning: resonant and vital.”
The Cleveland Quartet’s Telarc recording of John Corigliano’s String Quartet, written for their final tour, won the 1996 Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance. Currently Professor of Viola at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Mr. Dunham formerly taught at the New England Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music. During the summer he teaches and performs at numerous festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Sarasota, La Jolla, Amelia Island, and Le Domaine Forget in Quebec.
Photo Credit: David Long