James is a London-based pianist, conductor and composer with a diverse background spanning several genres of music. He studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in composition and a Master’s degree in jazz percussion, graduating in 2016. Highlights of his time there included composing and co-producing full-length musical Fleeced!, which went on to tour to Edinburgh Fringe Festival after its initial run at The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff, and conducting a performance of his piece Voyager I for fifty-piece orchestra in the Dora Stoutzker Hall.
Composition projects since have included a commission for narrator, two clarinets, string quartet and percussion for the Bristol-based Insight Ensemble; composing, arranging and underscoring musicals and plays for venues including Harlow Playhouse, the Union Theatre, the Gaiety Theatre (Isle of Man) and the Underbelly Festival at the Southbank Centre; and more recently recording flute and piano piece Erin with the Luna Duo. James has also arranged concert music for large ensembles and is published through Hal Leonard.
As well as composing for stage, James has many years of experience as a musical director for professional stage productions. He has since moved away from musical theatre to specialise in ballet accompaniment and orchestral conducting. James studied classical conducting privately with Peter Stark and attended the London Musical Arts conducting course with John Landor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was acting conductor of the London Lawyers’ Chorus, preparing a virtual performance of Haydn’s Te Deum in C No. 2. After a successful season conducting the City Showtunes Orchestra (2018-2019), James was asked to become the musical director and conductor of a new ensemble, the Richmond Light Orchestra, preparing them for three exciting performances a year.
James works regularly as a pianist for The Royal Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance, and London Vocational Ballet School as well as being in high demand for open classes at Pineapple Dance Studios and Danceworks.