James Topp was born in the Orkney Islands and educated in north-east Scotland. His musical training took place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied horn with Hugh Seenan and Jeff Bryant, and conducting with Alan Hazeldine. Since leaving the GSMD he has developed a highly varied freelance career including work with several major UK orchestras, West End shows, corporate team-building projects and even an ABBA tribute band! He has been ESO’s Principal Horn since 2004 and has worked as a soloist and chamber musician with groups such as Fine Arts Brass and the Allegri Quartet.
He is heavily involved with ESO’s education programme, in particular as part of the directors and tutors’ team running the ESO Beginners’ and Intermediate Orchestras. He has also coached the brass section of the English Schools Orchestra, held horn classes at Dartington and at Instrumenta Oaxaca in Mexico, and is Visiting Teacher of Horn at Malvern College and University College School in London.
Photo Tim Hill