About

Photo: Ben Durrant

I’m James, a conductor and writer based in London, UK.

Currently I hold positions as Musical Director for Wokingham Choral Society, Director of Jubilate Chamber Choir, and Director of Cathedral Singers at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. I’m also Chapel Music Advisor at Hertford College, Oxford, where I mentor the undergraduate Organ Scholars.

I’m particularly interested in new and under-explored music. I’ve conducted premieres of new works by Nick Bicat, Danyal Dhondy, Solfa Carlile, Sarah MacDonald, and others, run composition competitions, and am currently embarked on a major new project for Christ Church which will commission several composers to write fresh liturgical music.

A recording I conducted, of music by the Restoration-era polymath Henry Aldrich, was released by Convivium Records in late 2019 – ‘spirited performances […] a valuable addition to the catalogue and a fitting and vital tribute to Henry Aldrich’ (Church Music Quarterly).

I love talking and writing about music, and have been commissioned to write programme notes and essays for groups including The Tallis Scholars, Dunedin Consort, The Eric Whitacre Singers, and others. I give pre-performance talks and workshops, and have lectured on early music performance for, among others, the Continuing Education department of the University of Oxford.

I studied at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, and went on to study conducting with Paul Brough. I hold diplomas in organ and choral direction from the Royal College of Organists, the latter as winner of the John Brook (IAO) Memorial Prize.

As a church musician, I’ve been Director of Music at St Mary’s, Battersea, and Pusey House, Oxford. Prior to that, I sang professionally as a Lay Clerk at Magdalen College, Oxford, as well as recording and touring with all of the city’s major collegiate and cathedral choirs.

This material is not intended for programmes – please email me for an up-to-date biography.