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James Jordan is recognized and praised around the musical world as one of the nation’s pre-eminent conductors, writers and innovators in choral music. The most published performer/author in the world and described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal, he has written more than 30 books on all aspects of the choral art. His book Evoking Sound was cited as a “must read” on a list of six books by The Choral Journal. Professor and senior conductor at Westminster Choir College, he conducts the Westminster Schola Cantorum and the Westminster Williamson Voices.
He has made two recordings of the music of James Whitbourn with the Westminster Williamson Voices on the Naxos label: Living Voices: Music of James Whitbourn and Annelies, which was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award for “Best Choral Performance.” Gramophone hailed him as a conductor of “forceful and intimate choral artistry” and Choir and Organ wrote about Annelies, “Jordan’s instinctive understanding of the score makes this a profound and emotionally charged experience.” Reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic have praised the Westminster Williamson Voices as “without peer” (American Record Guide) noting that the ensemble “performed with utmost truth and precision,” and with “supreme artistry” (The Choral Journal), and “sing with a precision and finesse normally found in the best of the UK’s large chamber choirs.” (Gramophone).
Dr. Jordan’s career and publications have been devoted to innovative educational changes in the choral art, which have been embraced around the world. His writings have shaped far-reaching changes in conducting pedagogy and the teaching of rhythm applying Laban Effort/Shape to music teaching at all levels. In 2012, he received the Iorio Research Prize from Rider University.
His residencies, master classes and guest conducting have taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. He has conducted more than 30 All-State Choirs, and in 2009 he was named to the choral panel for The National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Jordan serves as artistic director of the Westminster Conducting Institute, one of the nation’s leading summer programs for the training and education of conductors and in the summer of 2013 inaugurated the Westminster Choral Institute at Oxford, a unique partnership with St. Stephen’s House, one of the Halls of Oxford University.
The 2013-14 academic year includes two distinctive honors for Dr. Jordan’s contributions to choral music around the world. In the fall he was honored by the Temple University Alumni Association and inducted into its Hall of Success, and he will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Dr. Jordan’s lecture/teaching schedule and writings are detailed on his website, http://www.evokingsound.com/and his publisher’s website, http://www.giamusic.com/bios/jordan_james.cfm.