Born in Northampton, UK, James has since performed as a soloist and a chamber musician in some of the UK and the USA’s most prestigious venues and halls. He loves playing as an orchestral musician regularly appearing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, English National Opera and the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre as their guest Principal Timpanist.
James won a music scholarship to Stowe School, studied at the Royal College Junior Department with Claire Hasted and was the recipient of a music scholarship to the Purcell School where he was mentored by Kevin Hathway. Whilst at Purcell, he won the Concerto Prize and reached the category finals of the BBC Young Musician competition in 2012 for the second time. Awards include the Peter Morrison Concerto prize and the RCM Percussion Prize, the Yamaha European Scholarship, the Royal Overseas' League Sussex Award and the Norman Butler English Speaking Union scholarship. He was awarded a scholarship to study in New York at the Manhattan School of Music, in addition to generous funding from the Countess of Munster Foundation. In his 2 years in NYC, he won the James Peterscak Scholarship, an award from the Steven and Elaine Stamas New York Philharmonic Scholarship fund and the MSM Concerto Competition; as a consequence, in February 2018, he performed the Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto at the Riverside Church in NYC.
James has also performed Richard Rodney-Bennett’s Marimba Concerto live on BBC Radio 3 with the BBC Philharmonic under the baton of John Wilson and has featured at the Royal Festival Hall, as the soloist in 'The Bloodless Giant'; helping to compose and arrange the percussion music and coach over 300 young musicians. As well as a solo performer, James loves playing as a chamber and orchestral musician, performing in various jazz ensembles such as his own group the S.O.L Collective. Their debut album 'Reveries' is currently available on all platforms. He is currently working on a range of compositions for Percussion and Electronics which he plans to record later in 2020.
He graduated with a First Class Honours from the Royal Academy of Music in London studying with Andy Barclay, Bill Lockhart, Eric Sammut and Colin Currie and finished his Master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City under the tutelage of Christopher Lamb, Kyle Zerna, She-e Wu and Duncan Patton. He is also a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
The Purcell School
Bachelor of Music Royal Academy of Music
Manhattan School of Music
Music Academy of the West
Eisenberg Fried Concerto Competition
James Peterscak Scholarship
English Speaking Union Norman Butler Scholarship
Yamaha Foundation Music Scholarship of Europe 2013
Concerto Prize Purcell School
Mozart Trio Prize Stowe School
Wigmore Hall London, England
Cadogan Hall London, England
Southbank Centre London, England
The Sage Gateshead Gateshead, England
Royal Opera House London, England
Millennium Centre Cardiff , Wales
Merkin Hall, New York
Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York
The Riverside Church, New New York
Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California