Professor; Director, Westminster Conducting Institute; Co-Director, Choral Institute at Oxford
Grammy-nominated conductor James Jordan is recognized and praised throughout the musical world as one of America’s pre-eminent conductors, writers, music psychologists and innovators in choral music. He was described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal, which cited his book Evoking Sound as a “must read.” His more than 40 books explore both the philosophical and spiritual basis of musicianship, as well as aspects of choral rehearsal teaching and learning and are considered to be essential books in the conducting profession. At Westminster Choir College he is professor and senior conductor, and he conducts Westminster Schola Cantorum and the critically acclaimed Westminster Williamson Voices. He is also director of the Westminster Conducting Institute and co-director of the Choral Institute at Oxford. (rider.edu/Oxford)
His recordings with the Westminster Williamson Voices have garnered wide critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Choir and Organ wrote about their Grammy-nominated recording Annelies, “Jordan’s instinctive understanding of the score makes this a profound and emotionally charged experience.” 2017-2018 will mark the release of three new recordings with him as conductor: Silence into Light with the Westminster Williamson Voices; Abide with The Same Stream Choir and featuring the music of Thomas LaVoy, Dan Forrest, Peter Relph and Paul Mealor; and Serenity-The Music of Paul Mealor, also with The Same Stream Choir (thesamestreamchoir.com) All are available through iTunes and Amazon. His work with The Same Stream Choir will also be seen in a new video documentary and profile to be released by J.W. Pepper.
Dr. Jordan’s career and publications have been devoted to innovative educational changes in the choral art, which have been embraced around the world. 2017-18 marks the publication of six new books. Inside the Choral Rehearsal is a landmark book applying the Music Learning Theory of Edwin Gordon to the choral rehearsal. Additional new titles are Conductor as Prism, Conductor as Architect, The Complete Choral Warm-Up Exercises (with Jesse Borower and Brian Sengdala) and The Anatomy of Tone (with Sean McCarther and Kathy Price) and The Moral Acoustics of Sound. Learn more at Giamusic.com/Jordan
His residencies, master classes and guest conducting have taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015, conducting the New York premiere of Paul Mealor’s Stabat Mater. He is also the conductor/artistic director of a new professional choir, The Same Stream (thesamestreamchoir.com), which begins its touring schedule in 2018. In November 2015, Dr. Jordan conducted the world premiere of Paul Mealor’s First Symphony: Passiontide, in Scotland. In 2016, the Westminster Williamson Voices was the first college choir to appear in the MetLiveArts series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art performing the virtuosic Kanon Pokajanen by Arvo Pärt.
James Jordan has been honored as a distinguished alumnus of Temple University, where he has been inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame. In 2016, he received the distinguished alumni medal from Susquehanna University. He was awarded the distinguished Doctor of Music degree by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2014 to honor his artistry and contributions to choral music throughout the world. The University, established in 1485, has awarded degrees throughout its history to only two Americans: Dr. Jordan and Morten Lauridsen. He shares this honor with Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten and Dame Joan Sutherland.