Born in London, James read Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar and award winner as both conductor and pianist. He is an Olivier nominated Opera, Choral and Orchestral Conductor based in Berlin. He recently made his German conducting debut in Hamburg in February 2022 before assisting on La Boheme at Glyndebourne and Rigoletto in Rouen.
James joined English National Opera in August 2015 and became ENO’s youngest ever Chorus Master in August 2016. He left to pursue a freelance career as a conductor in December 2019. During his tenure the Chorus won a 2016 Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’ and ‘Best Chorus’ at the International Opera Awards.
During James’s time at ENO he made his London Coliseum debut as 2nd conductor in Birtwistle’s Mask of Orpheus for which he received his Olivier award nomination. He conducted the UK premier of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After named by the Guardian as one of Classical music’s top 10 best things in 2017, Britten’s Paul Bunyan at Alexandra Palace and was due to conduct the final three performances of a new production of The Marriage of Figaro in April 2020 until the run of performances was cut short by the Covid-19 crisis.
A fuller biography is available here
The position of concertmaster is shared between Emily Davis and Oscar Perks. Emily is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra having been appointed to the position by Edward Gardner in June 2016, and was formerly a member of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, while leading the European Union Youth Orchestra. For five years until 2019, Oscar played with the renowned Dante Quartet as second violinist. He teaches violin at the Yehudi Menuhin School.