James Drummond, SWS’s Musical Director and Principal Viola, was born in Scotland and educated in Shropshire. He began playing the violin at an early age and studied with his father Hamish, before moving over to the viola, studying with Keith Lovell, Gwyn Williams, Rosemary Sanderson and more recently with Rivka Golani.
Graduating in 1985, James began his professional career freelancing with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera and the English String Orchestra, before joining the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 1987. He is currently in his 30th year with the orchestra.
As well as his commitments with the BBC, James is very active as a freelance musician, playing with the Welsh Concert Orchestra, WNO, BSO, the Welsh Sinfonia, the Chamber Orchestra of Wales and the Bristol Ensemble, playing whenever he has time away from BBC NOW.
James also has a very keen interest in chamber music, playing with many groups in and around South and Mid Wales.
James plays on a 1938 ‘Tertis’ model viola, made by the English luthier, Arthur Richardson.