james johnstone harpsichord
The members of Trio Sonnerie
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James Johnstone studied organ and harpsichord with Jill Severs in London and Ton Koopman in The Hague. For some 20 years he has been active as a continuo player on the UK early music scene, playing with all of the major ensembles, notably as a principal of the Gabrieli Consort and Players with whom he gave hundreds of concerts and made 22 recordings. He has also performed with Boston Symphony Orchestra (Bernard Haitink), Royal Philharmonia (Pinchas Zuckemann), European Community Chamber Orchestra (Yehudi Menuhin).
These days his interests are focused on recital work, chamber music and teaching. As a recitalist, he has performed throughout the UK as well as in Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Israel, Colombia and most recently the USA. He has made 6 unanimously acclaimed solo discs of works by Blow, Gibbons, Pasquini, Cornet, Elizabethan Virginalists and a Bach recital on the Waalse Kerk organ, Amsterdam.
Chamber music has always been of primary importance to James. He has been a core member of Florilegium since 2001 (10 discs and tours of Europe and the Americas), and plays regularly with Trinity Baroque, I Furiosi (Toronto), Harmonie Universelle (Köln), London Baroque and La Serenissima.
Much in demand as a teacher, James is professor of early keyboards at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at Trinity College of Music, and has given masterclasses in Europe and the States.