Photo by Betsy Bassett
Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1952, James Orleans began his musical studies with the trumpet, which he played for nine years. His growing interest in jazz precipitated a move to the double bass in 1972. Mr. Orleans majored in composition with a concentration in double bass at Indiana University and graduated magna cum laude from the Boston Conservatory of Music in 1981. He was awarded fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center in 1981 and 1982. Mr. Orleans’ bass teachers included William Rhein, Robert Olson, and Edwin Barker. He joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under Lukas Foss in 1982 and became a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1983. Mr. Orleans maintains an active interest in contemporary music and has performed with Collage New Music, Dinosaur Annex, the Brandeis Contemporary Chamber Players, and Boston Musica Viva. He has recorded with these ensembles for CRI and Northeastern records. Mr. Orleans has written articles on 20th Century orchestra music programming and has served on advisory panels of such organizations as the American Composers Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra League, and the National Endowment for the Arts.