In January 2002, John Wallace became Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Long acclaimed as a virtuoso trumpet player, his performances as soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and at major festivals and venues throughout the world have established him as a musician of enormous distinction. In 1995, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his distinguished services to music. In February 2002, he became the first orchestral musician to receive the ABO Award from the British Orchestras as the individual considered to have made the most outstanding contribution to orchestral life in the UK. In March 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Among the many new works he has premiered are concertos by Sir Malcolm Arnold, Tim Souster, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Robert Saxton, Dominic Muldowney, James MacMillan and Mark-Anthony Turnage, a trumpet quintet by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and a work for two trumpets and percussion by Harrison Birtwistle. As concerto soloist he has appeared with conductors Neeme Jarvi, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, Yuri Termikanov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Claus Peter Flor, Leonard Slatkin and the late Giuseppe Sinopoli. In addition to orchestral appearances, John Wallace has been greatly in demand as a recitalist and teacher. He has given masterclasses worldwide, has participated in Arts Council Network tours both in the UK and in Australia and has worked with the British Council in South Africa and Russia. In 1986 he founded the Wallace Collection, an ensemble devoted to the development of brass music and education and which fast became one of the world's pioneering brass groups.
John Wallace has an extensive list of recordings to his name. In addition to recording with the Philharmonia all the major trumpet repertoire, he has recorded Malcolm Arnold's Trumpet Concerto (together with a trumpet and keyboard disc) in the Virtuosi series for EMI and concertos by Maxwell Davies and, most recently, James MacMillan with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. With the Wallace Collection he has recorded a series of highly acclaimed discs the majority of which have been made available again under the group's own label.
John Wallace was born in Fife, Scotland, and educated at Buckhaven High School before reading Music at King's College, Cambridge. Until 1995, he was Principal Trumpet of the Philharmonia, a position which he held for nearly twenty years. With Professor Trevor Herbert he is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Companion to Brass Instruments and he is currently researching the history and development of the trumpet for publication by the Yale University Press.