Former Concertmaster and Soloist James Stark Passes Away

Former La Mirada Symphony concertmaster James Stark, a distinguished solo violinist who toured the world and performed with many orchestras and celebrities, has died.

According to his wife, Janeta Stark, Mr. Stark passed away peacefully on Sept. 29, 2020. “We (Cheri and Janet) are so, so grateful for all the outpouring of love and support,” stated Stark. “We will miss him dearly, and give gratitude for his life, his legacy of music, and our time together.”

A Lifetime of Music and Performance
As a student of Albert Gillis, Mr. Stark begin his violin studies at the age of seven in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1980, he was appointed concertmaster for the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra and toured extensively in Europe and the United States performing in the major capital cities as a soloist in over 150 concerts. After returning to the United States, Mr. Stark taught at the California State University, Fresno and was concertmaster of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra for 10 years. He appeared as a soloist with that orchestra on many occasions.

Mr. Stark had been a member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, which was under the direction of Placido Domingo during that time. He was featured onstage in Handel’s Julius Caesar as a major soloist with countertenor David Daniels to superior reviews. He also completed two tours of Japan as a principal player with the Percy Faith Orchestra and recorded on a regular basis for various artists such as Barry Manilow, Steve Lawrence, Keely Smith, Linda Ronstadt and Monica Mancini.

“The La Mirada Symphony was honored to have someone of his caliber as a past concertmaster,” said David Derks, president of the La Mirada Symphony Association. “He will be greatly missed.”

In Loving Memory
In lieu of flowers, the Stark family requests that donations be offered through his GoFundMe page to support in covering the funeral home, end-of-life expenses, and to assist his wife during this difficult time.