James Norcop joined the Board of the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation in 2013 and and continued to serve as a board member of the ASFC through 2018. Currently he is the managing editor of our e-newsletter, Art Song Canada.
Born in California, James Norcop began his career as a professional boy soprano, appearing in concert, on radio, and in films (including Going My Way). After graduating from the University of Southern California, he studied voice and performed in Zurich, Salzburg, and Vienna. Among Jim’s teachers and coaches were Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky, Alice Ehlers, Ria Ginster, Georg Hartmann, and Kurt Rapf.
Returning to the United States from his studies abroad, Jim began his career as an arts administrator at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. He subsequently worked for Columbia Artists Management and was Assistant Manager of the Seattle Symphony.
Jim came to Canada in 1965 as Manager (later General Manager) of the Vancouver Opera. While there, he established a professional training program and the British Columbia Opera Ensemble. In 1967, he moved to Toronto to join the Ontario Arts Council, where he served as Music Officer, Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras, and latterly as head of performing arts touring. In 1971, he originated the annual showcase conferences known as “Contact.”
After leaving the Council, Jim took up his vocal interests again, studying over a period of four years with the renowned Martial Singher at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. He performed and taught singing for a number of years.
Jim has long had a special interest in furthering the careers of talented young singers. He has established two prizes at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto: the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song and the Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying. He was instrumental in establishing the Art of Song program at the Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy.