No one in the whole organisation plays a more important part than the Musical Director. James Walker had the very difficult task of taking over after the long and distinguished tenure of the position by Isidore Godfrey, and he did sterling work. That was in February 1968 and he brought to the position the knowledge and experience gained over a wide and varied musical career.
As a Recording Supervisor for the Decca Record Company, he had worked with most of the famous orchestras and conductors of Europe and in this capacity he had also been concerned with the Company recordings both before and since joining the Company as Associate Conductor in 1961.
Born of a musical family in New South Wales, his piano playing talent became obvious very young, and by the age of 10 he was giving many public concerts. His education began at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was followed by four years at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
He began his professional career in British film studios, experience which would probably have proved useful when he made the Halas and Batchelor cartoon film of "Ruddigore" with the Opera Company and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1964.
During the war he was a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and after this spent several years touring England and Europe as Musical Director of the International Ballet.
After joining the Company, he conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the very successful record album "The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan", made by RCA for the Reader's Digest.
In 1964 he married Angela Lang, who used to work at 1, Savoy Hill in charge of amateur productions.
After ten years of valuable service with the Company, both in the pit and behind the scenes, Mr. Walker left, in 1971, to do freelance work.
G & S Recordings
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