On behalf of his family, the LSO has regretfully to announce the sudden and unexpected death, last Friday, of James Mallinson, one of the leading record producers of the last 40 years.
James learnt his trade with Decca, whose exclusively contracted artists in the 1970s included Benjamin Britten, Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland, among many others. During his years with Decca he also recorded the first ever complete Haydn symphonies (all 104 of them) with Antal Dorati and a major series of works by 20th century composers including Messiaen, Ligeti, Cage and Maxwell Davies as well as Harrison Birtwistle and Philip Glass.
After he left to go freelance in the early 1980s he worked with all of the major record labels and with virtually every major classical artist of the late 20th century. By his own reckoning the only international name that he never actually recorded was Pierre Boulez. His recordings were highly respected, winning innumerable awards including no less than 16 Grammies.
As the recording world changed at the end of the 1990s and into this century, James was already ahead of the curve, not only musically but technically. While he was instrumental in setting up the extremely successful orchestra-owned record labels including LSO Live, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Resound label and the Mariinski Live label with Valery Gergiev in St Petersburg, he also pioneered the use of SACD and other higher resolution recording and Surround Sound to get ever closer to the sound of a live performance.
His most recent project was an ongoing Beethoven Symphony cycle with the Britten Sinfonia and Thomas Adès.
James was a loving father to Jonathan, and a lifelong partner to Michelle. He loved them both dearly and continues to inspire them daily.