Professor John Wallace CBE
John was born in Fife, Scotland, in 1949 into a brass band family. He attended Buckhaven High School and King’s College, Cambridge. During his trumpet-playing career he held positions with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, and London Sinfonietta, as well as forming the Wallace Collection brass ensemble.
He recorded all the major trumpet solo works on CD and premiered new concertos by Malcolm Arnold, Maxwell Davies, Macmillan, Muldowney, Souster, Schuller and Saxton amongst others.
From 2002-14 he was Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, after which he resumed his performing career. From 2015 -18 he was the Royal Society of Edinburgh vice-president for arts, humanities and social sciences. In 2011 he was awarded a CBE for services to Dance, Drama and Music. In 2021 he was awarded the Queen’s medal for music.
Presently, in addition to his board membership of the Scottish Funding Council, he is involved with St Andrews Music Participation (StAMP) which has started off over 230 beginners on brass instruments since the beginning of the pandemic. He also convenes the Music Education Partnership Group, chairs the Glasgow Barons, a new orchestra based in Govan and is President of St Mary’s Music School.
A confirmed workaholic, John also composes, and recently finished an hour-long Symphony for Brass Band and a one-act Opera for tenor, chorus, seven brass and percussion, on the subject of dementia - Opsnizing Dad - which will be performed in March 2022 with Jamie MacDougall in the starring role. This is the first of three socially responsible operas designed as a Trittico. The second, They Twa’ Fush is about political sleaze, and the third So much hot air is about net zero. Someone has to do it.
John's appointment is for four years and runs from 4 November 2019 to 3 November 2023.
Register of interests