Born in Northamptonshire, James began viola lessons when he was introduced to the Music Trust in the area at the age of 10. During these early stages James had his first experience of playing chamber and orchestral music, which have remained an important part of his music making.
After deciding that he would like to pursue a career in music, James became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which gave him the opportunity to perform in the UK's most prestigious concert halls including performing at the annual BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
In September 2016, James began his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, under the tuition of Rachel Roberts. While at the Guildhall, James has been a finalist in the Max and Peggy Morgan String Prize in 2018 and 2020, performing the Malcolm Arnold Viola Concerto (Arnold is a composer from James’ Northamptonshire roots) in 2018 and the Walton Viola Concerto in 2020. He has most recently played as Principal Viola in the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, working with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Edward Gardner, Kristjan Järvi and Dominic Wheeler. Externally, James has undertaken many European orchestral tours, playing at venues such as the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Wiener Musikverein in Vienna and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Chamber music has also been a huge part of his schedule. He receives frequent masterclasses with artists such as Levon Chilingirian OBE, Simon Blendis, Krzysztof Smeitana and Ursula Smith. In 2021, James has recitals planned around London and the UK. He is delighted to take part in Festival Fresco and looks forward to working with new colleagues and continuing his passion for music education. A particular highlight of the year will also be when he will be returning to his home turf with his Piano Quartet to perform in the Oundle International Festival in July 2021.
James is grateful to have been awarded a scholarship at the Guildhall School to support his studying in London and he is also fortunate to play a Ladislav Prokop viola kindly on loan from Peter Lale of the Britten String Quartet.