James Golborn is a London-based pianist, conductor and composer with a unique background spanning both jazz and classical 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. This year, James’ collaborations have also extended overseas as he composes and produces a joint album for release in China.
As well as composing for stage, James has over five years of experience as a musical director for professional stage productions. He has since moved away from musical theatre to specialise in classical conducting. After finishing a season as conductor of the fifty-piece City Showtunes Orchestra in 2019, James went on to study classical conducting privately with Peter Stark and on the London Musical Arts conducting course with John Landor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been acting conductor of the London Lawyers’ Chorus, preparing a virtual performance of Haydn’s Te Deum in C No. 2. James is especially interested in conducting ballet and opera, and works as a ballet pianist at the Royal Academy of Dance and the highly esteemed Thomas’ London Day Schools. He is compiling a portfolio of his own compositions for ballet, which will eventually be recorded for purchase via this website.