James began his organ studies with Huw Tregelles Williams OBE before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Bristol, where he studied the organ with Dr David Ponsford. Following this, he studied a Master of Arts in Organ Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 2009, where his principal organ teacher was Nicolas Kynaston. During his time at the Academy, James gained the Fellowship Diploma of the Royal College of Organists as well as the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music teaching diploma, and was Organ Scholar at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street. He was also the recipient of several Academy prizes including the Eric Thiman Organ Prize for solo organ, open to all RAM organ students. He was also chosen to play the organ for a visit by Elton John to the Academy.
As a solo recitalist, James has played in many of the UK’s most prestigious venues including St Paul’s, Westminster Cathedral, The Temple Church, St Bride’s, and Bath Abbey, as well as across Europe including France, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. Recent performances have included Bach’s 6 Trio Sonatas in a concert where James collaborated with the organ virtuoso Dame Gillian Weir, as well as recitals at Westminster Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields, and a further collaboration with trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins as part of the Clifton International Festival of Music.
James previously held the position of Assistant Organist at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London, and currently studies the organ with Dame Gillian Weir.