Drawing inspiration from the example of his aunt and uncle, both of whom played in the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, James Braid felt compelled to pursue a career in music. After watching famous violinist, Nathan Milstein in concert in 1961, the instrument became his passion. Attending college, he received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory in 1972, after which he became a member of the Montreal Symphony. While in Canada, he also served as concertmaster of the Canada Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Braid won a first violin position with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1974. In 1980, he became concertmaster of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. As concertmaster for over 20 years, he was a featured soloist with the orchestra under conductors Paul Nadler, Neal Gittleman and Keith Lockhart.
He has been concertmaster of the Lakeside (Ohio) Summer Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years, where he has performed most of the major violin repertoire, including the concertos of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, as well as Barber, Tchaikovsky and Korngold.
Mr. Braid parlayed his knowledge to others as a faculty member at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts for over 20 years.
As music director of the Blue Ash Symphony (Ohio), he founded the Blue Ash Youth Orchestra during the 1990’s.
In a career that has been suffused with highlights, he is most proud of still being active with the Cincinnati Symphony after 47 seasons and to have earned the title of Concertmaster Emeritus of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
For his outstanding achievements, he received the Distinguished Alumni from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1985.
Looking towards the future, Mr. Braid intends to continue teaching, as it has been one of the highlights of his career. Ultimately, he aims to share his love of music for years to come.