James Connors, Principal
The Dick & Helen Minck Chair
James Connors is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and assumed the principal ‘cello chair of The Florida Orchestra in 1988. He has studied with such renowned teachers as Janos Starker, Gary Hoffman, Leopold Teraspulsky and Wolfgang Laufer. In the past, he was featured as soloist with the orchestra in the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and ‘Cello, the Haydn Concerto in C Major and the Schumann Cello Concerto in 2007.
Prior to coming to the Tampa Bay area, Connors was co-principal ‘cellist of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. From 1985 to 1987, he served as the principal ‘cellist of the South Dakota Symphony in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and as a member of the Dakota String Quartet.
He received his bachelor’s of arts in music cum laude from Amherst College in 1980 and his master’s degree in 1983 from Indiana University. Subsequently, his ensemble, The Van Eyck Piano Trio, was awarded a two-year residency at the Chamber Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee under the direction of Leonard Sorkin and The Fine Arts Quartet. They performed frequently for live broadcasts on the Chicago classical station WFMT.
An avid proponent of chamber music, Connors is a member of the Bayside String Quartet and appears frequently on the chamber music series at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. In addition, he participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds (South Carolina and Italy) and Taos Chamber Music Festival.
Connors lives in Tampa with his wife, Emily, 14-year-old son Joshua, and their beloved Labrador Retriever, Huckleberry Finn. He plays a modern Bulgarian instrument by the maker Apostol Kaloferov.