Julian Armour has distinguished himself over the past 20 years as a performing musician, arts administrator and artistic director. He is the Artistic and Executive Director of Music and Beyond and Artistic Director of the Chamber Players of Canada.
Julian Armour is a graduate of McGill University where he was a student of the distinguished Canadian cellist, Walter Joachim. After graduation, he continued his studies and had the great privilege of study privately or in masterclasses with some of the greatest cellists of our time including Janos Starker, Ralph Kirshbaum, Aldo Parisot and Leonard Rose. One of Canada’s most active cellists, he has performed throughout Canada and Europe and is heard regularly on CBC radio. As a chamber musician he has appeared in television broadcasts on CBC, CTV, PBS, EWTN and Vision TV. He has played in most of Canada’s concert halls and many in the United States and Europe. He has recorded over 30 CDs for many labels including Marquis, Crystal, ATMA, CMS Classics, CentreDiscs, SRI, CanSona, Studea Musica and CBC. His 9th CD with the Chamber Players of Canada wil soon be released on the NAXOS label.
One of the country’s foremost experts on Canadian music, Julian Armour has programmed and performed works by over 400 different Canadian composers and premiered over 200 different works, most of which were written especially for him. In 1999, he was awarded the Community Foundation’s Investing in People Award, in recognition of the work he has done bringing classical music to new audiences. Julian Armour was awarded the 2000 Victor Tolgesy Arts Award by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa, which recognizes the accomplishments of residents who have contributed substantially to enriching the cultural life in the city. For two years, Ottawa Life Magazine named him one of Ottawa’s Top 50 Movers and Shakers. Julian Armour was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in December 2002 by the Government of France for his contributions to music. In 2003, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. Julian Armour was chosen as “Arts Newsmaker of the Year” in January 2006 by the Ottawa Sun. He was recently awarded the 2011 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. His most recent CD with the Chamber Players of Canada was nominated for a Juno Award in 2014, and in September 2014, CBC Radio included his recording of Chopin Concertos the Chamber Players of Canada on their list of the “30 best Canadian classical recordings ever”.
He has a strong track record of attracting capacity audiences for contemporary music and has programmed over 30 full-concert tributes to individual composers. He has recorded works on CD by over 15 Canadian composers. He is a voting member of the Canadian Music Centre. As well, he has arranged over 100 works for chamber music groups, several of which have been broadcast on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada.
He is regularly asked to present lectures including an annual lecture at McGill University and every year, is involved with several other universities, giving lectures, playing concerts, teaching and serving as an examiner, from the undergraduate to the doctoral levels. He developed a new course for the University of Ottawa called Development, Outreach and Advocacy which dealt with the vitally important issues related to building and developing the many levels of support required for a successful, healthy and sustainable cultural organization. It focused on creating and developing the boards, staff, committees, volunteers and stakeholders required for success in fundraising, sponsorship, awareness and attendance.
He was the subject of a full-length documentary on CBC radio and a half-hour documentary on the television series “Men of Music.” He participated in a four-part radio series with Eric Friesen on neglected masterpieces of chamber music. He recently was guest host of the popular national CBC Radio show, Studio Sparks. He has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on music, the arts and urban living. As well, he has written program notes for many concerts and has written the CD booklet notes for seven recordings on the CBC, ATMA and CMS Classics labels.
Mr. Armour’s interest in promoting the arts in the Ottawa community led him to serve on the Arts Advisory Committee for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton for three years. He regularly serves on numerous arts juries and advisory panels for the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Lottery Corporation and the City of Ottawa. He has also served on the Mayor’s Panel for Business and the Arts and on the board of Ottawa Tourism.