James began his organ studies with Huw Tregelles Williams OBE before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Bristol, where he studied the organ with Dr David Ponsford. Following this, he studied a Master of Arts in Organ Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 2009, where his principal organ teacher was Nicolas Kynaston. During his time at the Academy, James gained the Fellowship Diploma of the Royal College of Organists as well as the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music teaching diploma. He was also the recipient of several Academy prizes including the Eric Thiman Organ Prize for solo organ, open to all RAM organ students. He was chosen to play the organ for Elton John’s visit to the Academy and has also taken part in numerous performances abroad with the organ department including Neresheim Abbey (South Germany), Sweden, Denmark and France. During this period, James was also Organ Scholar at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street where he performed regularly with the professional choir and music team for services and concerts.
As a solo recitalist, James has played in many of the U.K's most prestigious venues including St Paul’s, Westminster Cathedral, The Temple Church, St Bride's, and Bath Abbey. He has also given a number of world premiere performances by renowned composers including David Bednall and Diana Burrell, with the latter forming part of London's Spitalfields Festival, as well as a British Premiere of Piet Kee's piece 'Cervus' for harmonium which was performed in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Music. Recent performances have included a collaboration with the organ virtuoso Dame Gillian Weir, in which James performed the Six Trio Sonatas of J.S. Bach, along side a lecture given by the Dame as part of the Clifton International Festival of Music at Clifton Cathedral, as well as recitals at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Martin-in-the-fields. In the 2014-15 academic year James put on a recital series at Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, where he performed the Complete Organ Works of J.S.Bach on the College’s magnificent Klais organ. James recently recorded the Trio Sonatas of J.S. Bach at Clifton Cathedral, and has also recently performed the complete organ works of Cèsar Franck to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth in 2022. This year he has also performed a recital at Southwark Cathedral of organ works by Max Reger to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth.
James is Assistant Organist at Southwark Cathedral having previously spent a year as organist at St Matthew’s Church, Westminster. Before this, he spent a year as Acting Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral and has also previously held positions at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and St Bride’s Fleet Street, London. He has also recently performed recitals at Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, and the Dulwich Festival of Music, as well as recitals in Germany. James is Organ Teacher at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, and Westminster School.
Faculties / departments: Junior Department
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