Dr. Layton James

Known to all as “Skip,” Layton James has been principal keyboard artist
 with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1969.

James is also a
 conductor and composer internationally known for his cadenzas for 
Baroque and Classical concertos. In April 2002, the SPCO premiered
 James’ adaptation of J.S. Bach’s B-Minor Partita for full string
orchestra, a piece originally composed for solo violin. He has also
 scored organ music and choral selections for the SPCO holiday concerts.

James’ commission by the Friends of the SPCO, a cantata for All Saints’
 Day in honor of Pat Whitacre was performed in October of 2007. James is
 music director and organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson,
Wisconsin, and has been a clinician for the American Choral Directors
 Association and the American Guild of Organists. He has performed on
 several Life Style Records albums, and is the featured harpsichordist on Robert Shaw’s 1984 and 1987 recordings of Handel’s Messiah.

A builder
 of harpsichords, James plays one of his instruments with the SPCO. He was 
trained as a musicologist at Cornell University and has taught music 
history and performance practice courses at the University of Hawaii,
 Stanford, Cornell, Macalester College and Westminster Choir College. He
 has also been named one of the newest Steinway Artists. James has 
performed the complete Bach Goldberg Variations for double-manual 
harpsichord at the White Pine Festival.