Belfast born, Sir James studied in London and Paris before embarking on his orchestral career in such prestigious orchestras such as the Sadlers Wells & Royal Covent Garden Operas, The BBC, Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra, before taking up the coveted position of solo flautist with the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan.

Since launching his successful career as a soloist in 1975, his busy touring schedule sees him performing with the world’s leading orchestras and most prestigious conductors.  From Galway’s lips have come definitive treatments of classical repertoire and masterworks by Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart.  He also features contemporary music in his programs, including new flute works commissioned by him and for him by composers such as Adamo, Amram, Bolcom, Corigliano, Heath, Lieberman and Maazel. Recent commissions include a concerto ‘Linen & Lace’ by Bill Whelan (composer of Riverdance); concerto by Elaine Agnew ‘Dark Hedges’ commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for the Royal Albert Hall Proms, and a Double Flute concerto for 2 flutes written especially for Sir James & Lady Galway by the Northern Irish Composer, Philip Hammond.

The Galway Flute Academy is Sir James and Lady Galway’s educational platform, where they share their wisdom and experience with the musical generation of tomorrow. The Academy, which includes daily masterclasses, weekend residencies and ten-day flute festivals, gives them such joy to be able to change and enhance the lives of flutists of all levels. To further connect them with students, educators and flute lovers, the Galway’s created First Flute, an online teaching series, which allows the student to learn from Sir James anytime, anywhere and takes them on a visual journey into his world of teaching. The latest addition to the Galway Flute Academy is the launch of LiveLearn. This allows everyone to connect with them like never before, through live streaming classes, webinars, private lessons and interactive Q&A sessions.