Sunday, March 28, 2021
Layton James was the principal keyboardist with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for 42 years. Layton studied musicology at Cornell University under Dr. Donald Grout. He then taught at The University of Hawaii and Stanford University, where he led chamber ensembles designed to perform in historically informed ways, exploring the latest research in Baroque performance practice. During his time with SPCO, Layton played harpsichord continuo to Haydn symphonies, Baroque concertos, and made recordings as an improvising continuo player with Pinchas Zukerman, Slava Rostropovich, Robert Shaw, Christopher Hogwood, and Neville Marriner, among others. Layton is also an accomplished harpsichord builder, with works including the instrument he played with SPCO as well as others in wide use by private individuals and colleges. His recent projects include recording music by Telemann and Vivaldi as part of chamber group the Blue Baroque Band and recording the six Zelenka Trios for Crystal Records.