James Gaddarn (1924 to 2012)
Ealing Choral Society pays tribute to James Gaddarn, conductor for 40 years from 1968 to 2008, following the sad news of his death on the 14th February 2012. Shane Beadle, Chairman of Ealing Choral Society led the tributes saying, "James is without doubt the most significant figure in the Choir's history. He was much loved and admired for his high standards, commitment to the music and above all his passion. We are privileged to have known him, been tutored by him and led by him for all these years. We have lost a vice president, a former conductor and a friend."
We dedicated our concert of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast on the 28th April 2012 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall to his memory (we were joined in this concert by the London Orpheus Choir which James conducted for 58 years).
James Gaddarn was born in Pembrokeshire and studied at Trinity College of Music where he subsequently became a senior member of the professorial staff. He studied with the great musician and philosopher Charles Kennedy Scott whose influence was significant throughout his career.
As a young conductor he was invited by the BBC to become assistant to Leslie Woodgate, the director of the BBC Singers and Chorus and subsequently became the chorus master of the Royal Choral Society at the invitation of Sir Malcolm Sargent.
During his long and distinguished career, he was Conductor of the London Orpheus Choir from 1952-2010, Ealing Choral Society from 1968-2008 and the Croydon Philharmonic Choir from 1973-1999.
In his 40 years with Ealing Choral Society, he brought to the Society and to Ealing audiences a wealth of choral music. He had the great privilege with the Society of giving the first performance in England of the Donizetti Requiem Mass, Gloria and Credo and derived much satisfaction from seeing the works being performed by societies throughout the country.
From 2008 until his death in February 2012, he was a Vice President of Ealing Choral Society.