James Galway Biography In English Life Story 1939

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  • James Galway OBE is an Irish virtuoso flute player from Belfast, nicknamed “The Man with the Golden Flute”.
  • He established an international career as a solo flute player. In 2005, he received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the Classic Brit Awards.

James Galway Biography In English

Birth Details –

Date of Birth – 8 December 1939

Marital Status – Married

Family –

Brother – George

Wife – Anna Rengli, Jean Galway

Early Life

  • Galway was born in North Belfast as one of two brothers. His father, who played the flute, was employed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard until the end of World War II and cleaned buses on the night shift after the war, while his mother, a pianist, was a winder in a flax-spinning factory.
  • Raised as a Presbyterian and surrounded by a tradition of flute bands and many friends and family members playing the instrument, he was taught flute by his uncle at the age of nine and joined his fife and drum corps.
  • At the age of eleven, Galway won the Junior, Senior and Open Belfast Flute Championships in the same day. His first instrument was a five-key Irish flute, and at the age of twelve or thirteen, he received a Boehm instrument.

Personal Life

  • Galway has been married three times. His first marriage to a French woman produced a son.
  • He married his second wife, Anna Rengli, the daughter of a famous Swiss architect, in 1972 and moved from Berlin to his hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland. The couple had twin daughters and a son.
  • In 1978 he recorded an instrumental version of John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” for her. It reached no.
  • After this divorce, he moved to Megen, Switzerland, a village next to Lucerne, where he now lives with his third wife, the American-born flautist Jean Galway (née Sinante), whom he married in 1984.
  • Galway is a devout Christian who visits a variety of churches when traveling and prays before his concert performances.
  • In August 1977, Galway was hit by a speeding motorcycle in Lucerne, breaking his left arm and both legs and spending four months in hospital.
  • Her eye condition is nystagmus, and she is a patron of the Nystagmus Network, a charity that supports people with the condition.
  • In December 2009, he fell down the stairs at his home, breaking his left wrist and breaking his right hand.
  • His younger brother, George, was a jazz musician and teacher in Manchester, England. George’s eldest child and James’ nephew, Martin Galway, is a composer best known for his work on Commodore 64 computer game music in the 1980s.

Education and Career

  • Galway was educated at Mountcollier Secondary Modern School in Belfast. He left school at the age of fourteen and worked as an apprentice to a piano repairman for two years.
  • He later studied flute at the Royal College of Music under John Francis and at the Guildhall School of Music under Geoffrey Gilbert.
  • He then studied briefly at the Paris Conservatoire under Gaston Crunelle. While in Paris, he sought lessons from the renowned French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, who gave him advice on his playing, but felt he was already too good a flautist to take lessons from Rampal or the Conservatory.
  • He left Paris for his first orchestral flute-playing job at Sadler’s Wells Opera in London.
  • He spent fifteen years as an orchestral player. He auditioned for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan and was principal flute in the orchestra from 1969 to 1975.
  • After a period of some disagreement, to Karajan’s surprise and dismay, Galway decided he would leave to pursue a solo career.
  • Galway still performs regularly and is one of the most famous flute players in the world. His recordings have sold over 30 million copies.
  • In 2003 he formed the Music Education Consortium, along with Julian Lloyd Webber, Evelyn Glennie and Michael Kamen, to pressure the British government to provide better music education in schools.
  • In December 2013 Galway launched First Flute, an online interactive series of lessons for beginner flute students of all ages.


2014 – Gramophone Lifetime Achievement Award

What is date of birth of James Galway?

James Galway was born on 14 October 1931 .

What was the name of James Galway’s brother?

James Galway’s brother’s name was George.

What was the name of James Galway’s wife?

James Galway’s wife’s name was Anna Wrangely and Jean Galway.

What was the nickname given to James Galway?

James Galway is nicknamed “The Man with the Golden Flute”.

Which award was given to James Galway?

James Galway was honored with the Gramophone Lifetime Achievement Award.

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