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Percussionist and multi-instrumentalist James Larter has always been obsessed with rhythm; whether it be the roaring sound of Brazilian Samba or the intricate palette of the Contemporary classical repertoire, music that makes people move is a passion. He is an in-demand session musician, soloist and composer and has played with a wide and eclectic variety of groups and artists from Sampha and Gang of Youths to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, St Petersburg Ballet, English National Opera and the Philharmonia. Most recently, he was selected as a 2021 City Music Foundation Artist.


James won a music scholarship to Stowe School, studied at the Royal College of Music 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 Over-Seas 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, through which he performed Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto at the Riverside Church in NYC in February 2018.


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. James loves playing as a chamber musician and session musician, performing in various jazz ensembles such as his own group the S.O.L Collective whose debut album 'Reveries' was recorded in 2019. His own solo album ‘Polarity’ was released in 2021. He is currently working on a range of compositions for Percussion and Electronics which are published on Bachovich Publications in the US.


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 was also a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. 






Stowe School

The Purcell School

Bachelor of Music Royal Academy of Music

Manhattan School of Music

Music Academy of the West


Significant Awards

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



Significant Venues

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


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