Lara James is a saxophonist known for her work as a collaborative musician and soloist. She has established herself as a musician with a busy and varied portfolio career ranging from recital, chamber, orchestral and band performances to lecturing, and performs across a variety of musical genres from contemporary classical to alternative. She has performed as a concerto soloist and recitalist throughout the UK; while freelance recording work includes sessions for radio, BBC TV and CD recordings and appearances with numerous major orchestras in the UK. As a soloist Lara has been broadcast around the world including the UK (BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Ireland’s RTE Lyric FM) in the USA (NPR) and on ABC Classic FM Australia.
Lara’s debut CD ‘Facades’, on the Signum Classics label, was chosen as ‘Presenter’s Choice’ for Instrumental and Chamber Music in Classic FM Magazine, May 2009. She was supported by the Arts Council of Wales to record a second CD in 2011, which was a stylistically diverse project featuring new artist collaborations and commissions by British composers. This recording was also released on the Signum Classics label.
A keen interest in the saxophone in chamber music contexts prompted Lara to found ‘Triquetra’, a saxophone, cello and piano trio with Kathryn Price and Rachel Ramos; and in summer 2010, she co-founded the saxophone ensemble ‘Resonance’ with Dr. Angela Space.
Lara teaches saxophone at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where she also coaches chamber music and directs the saxophone choir. She teaches saxophone at the RWCMD Department of Junior Music and Access Studies and is in demand as an adjudicator for national youth music competitions and college auditions and as a coach for national youth music organizations.
Having studied at the Royal Northern College of Music gaining her degree and professional performance diploma, Lara won a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music where she became graduate assistant to the esteemed performer, musicologist and saxophone historian Dr. Paul Cohen. Following a period of study in the USA Lara went on to complete her Master’s degree in Musicology at the University of Manchester, where her specialist research area was ‘The Saxophone in Britain, c. 1860 – 1960’ and hopes to further pursue various research interests in years to come.
Photo by Alex Mills