May 18: Meet the Orchestra - James MacDonald, Principal Horn
April 30, 2021
On Tuesday, May 18, meet James MacDonald, Principal Horn of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, in the next installment of our Meet the Orchestra Zoom series featuring Maestro Denis Mastromonaco and guests! These casual, interactive, free Zoom sessions are perfect opportunities to learn about featured instruments, listen to short performances, and take part in Q&A sessions with members of Canada's leading hybrid orchestra! Meet the Orchestra: James MacDonald, Principal Horn - Wednesday, May 18, at 7:30pm. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
James MacDonald is a freelance professional French Horn player, educator, and conductor from Ontario, Canada who has enjoyed many successes in a wide variety of musical activities over many years of music making. He continues (29 years now) as principal horn with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, and also plays with the Ontario Philharmonic, an orchestra based in Durham region just east of Toronto, where he lives in the town of Port Perry. As well, James occasionally works with the orchestras of Brantford, Kingston, Hamilton, Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Concert Orchestra, Salon Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and several more. In 2000, the Radio Orchestra of Frankfurt invited him to tour seventeen cities of Japan, and across Germany. In the Czech republic James has performed with the Zapadocesky Symphony of Maniansky Lazny.
An alumnus of the Boss Brass (6 Junos, 2 Grammy Awards, and a dozen recordings and many tours over 26 years), James currently works with the Rex Hotel Orchestra, which in 2011 won a Juno award for the CD “Our First Set”. Countless other recordings include film music, television shows, and commercials over many years in the studios of Toronto. Throughout his lengthy career, James has also performed in pit orchestras for Toronto runs of popular Broadway musicals.
When James started teaching horn at York University in the mid 1970’s, it was a different musical landscape. At that time, he co-founded the York Winds, a woodwind quintet that became active in performances, broadcasts and tours. Continuing as horn professor almost forty years later, he conducts the York Brass Ensemble, and teaches horn and brass pedagogy. On February 10, 2012, James arranged the successful "International Horn Day" for York University, which attracted amateur and professional musicians from across Ontario.