He is the only brass player ever to win the Gold Medal of the Royal Over-Seas League competition, receiving great acclaim from international soloists including baritone Jonathan Lemalu, oboist Nicholas Daniel and pianist Piers Lane. James has won first prize in the British Trombone Society Bass Trombone competition and the Drummond Sharp Prize for Brass at the Royal Academy of Music.
He has been invited to perform recitals in Lucerne; St James’ Piccadilly & Cadogan Hall, London; the Philharmonie, Luxemburg; Norfolk Music Festival and has performed in front of the Royal Academy of Music’s Symphonic Brass, live-streamed from the Duke’s Hall. He is passionate about modern music, commissioning solo and chamber pieces for the bass trombone and has performed three contemporary concertos with orchestra, including a world premiere.
In June 2018 James joined the Philharmonia Orchestra as Principal Bass Trombone. He has been a member of the European Philharmonic of Switzerland since its founding in 2015 and has been guest principal with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, BBC Concert, BBC Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Hallé, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic & Royal Philharmonic Concert, Ulster, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera & Welsh National Opera Orchestras as well as the London Sinfonietta, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Orchestra of Europe. He regularly plays in West End musicals including The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera and 42nd Street and has appeared in several classical and commercial recordings. He is a current member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and a former member of the European Union Youth Orchestra.
Having graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with First Class Honours in July 2015, James is now studying on a Performance Masters specialised for soloists at the Hochschule der Künste Bern, in Switzerland. He is the first bass trombone player to be accepted onto the course and is tutored by world-renowned trombonist and pedagogue Ian Bousfield.
Outside of music, James is a keen road cyclist, training regularly with his club-mates in the Surrey Hills and around Dorset, where he grew up.