Trumpeter James Ackley enjoys an international career performing as a soloist, recitalist and clinician across Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America. Venezuelan critics hailed Mr. Ackley as “…one of the best trumpet players in the world today” from his performances on tour in South America, and the Hartford Courante called him “spellbinding” and “a true artist." Mr. Ackley performs under Andes International Management.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Ackley received his B.M. from the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, his M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and completed additional D.M.A. studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Former teachers include Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra, James Darling, retired member of the Cleveland Orchestra, Mary Squire, retired principal trumpet of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Eugene Blee, retired principal trumpet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Alan Siebert, former principal trumpet of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
Presently, Mr. Ackley is dedicated to his career as a soloist, having released several solo albums: Recital Music for Trumpet (Claronade Records); Lírico Latino: songs for solo trumpet (MSR Classics); Gabriel (Beauport Classical); and New American Music for Trumpet (Beauport Classical). Mr. Ackley also founded the trumpet ensemble Tromba Mundi, which has a self-titled album: Tromba Mundi (MSR Classics). Mr. Ackley maintains a busy teaching schedule as Associate Professor of Trumpet at the University of South Carolina, and during the summers teaches at the Carolina Summer Conservatory. He was appointed principal trumpet of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra in 2007, and has been a member of the award-winning Bala Brass Quintet since 2011.
In 2000, Mr. Ackley founded the ATC (Asociación de Trompetistas Colombianos – Association of Colombian Trumpeters) to answer the call of the International Trumpet Guilds’ quest for excellence in brass education and performance. He has returned on various occasions since 2000 to perform as an invited artist and further foster the Association’s goals and ideas. Mr. Ackley has been a featured soloist and performed world premieres at the 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012 International Trumpet Guild Conferences, where he has also acted as a judge for both the solo and excerpt competitions. Mr. Ackley has been a judge for the National Trumpet Competition since 2003, and a member of the board of directors of the ITG since 2009. In 2011 he helped adjudicate the China National Trumpet Conference solo competition in Shenyang, China.
Having performed as principal trumpet in various orchestras in the United States, Mexico and Colombia, Mr. Ackley has worked with distinguished musicians such as Zubin Mehta, Louis Lane, Arturo Marquez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Karim Al-Zand, Robert J. Bradshaw, Leonard Bernstein, Jahja Ling, Christoph Eschenbach, Placido Domingo, Fransisco Rettig, and James Levine. He has performed with the Charlotte Symphony, Charleston Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Waterbury Symphony, New Britain Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Moscow State Radio Symphony, Aguascalientes Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Los Solistas de Mexico, Bogotá Philharmonic, Valle Philharmonic, and Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. In addition, Mr. Ackley has distinguished himself as a composer and arranger, publishing material under the editorial visage of the Cimarron Music Company. James lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Yesenia, and their two sons, Kevin and Joshua. James Ackley is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician.