As a soloist and chamber musician James performs regularly throughout the UK and Europe. His recital work includes appearances at major concert series in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Holland, the Czech Republic, Bermuda, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia and in the UK at Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals. Having studied at the Moscow Conservatoire (during which time he reached the semi finals of the International Tchaikovsky Competition) he frequently returns to perform in the former Soviet Union. Highlights have included performances at the Sakharov Festival in Nizhny Novgorod and the Omsk Festival. His orchestral performances include concertos with the Moscow, Khazakh and Belorussian Symphony Orchestras, and the Arad and Oradea Philharmonic Orchestras (Romania), and the English and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and Astana Opera House. He has performed both Brahms Concertos in Russia and Romania.
He has been a member of the Barbican Piano Trio since 1992, performing regularly at Wigmore Hall and in major UK festivals and concert series, and throughout Europe and the USA. Particular highlights include a performance at Carnegie Recital Hall and many cycles of Beethoven’s complete Piano Trios including one in the Master Concert Series at Wigmore Hall. The Trio’s repertoire consists of over seventy works and their discography includes trios by Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, Rachmaninov and Schnittke.
James has worked with the Vanburgh Quartet, BBC Singers, Lydia Mordkovitch and the mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly and has made several recordings for Chandos. He is a dedicated teacher and enjoys posts at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and Royal Holloway, University of London. He is also an Honorary Professor at the Rachmaninov Institute, Tambov, Russia where he makes frequent visits to perform concertos, give recitals and masterclasses and lead chamber music courses.
He has served on the Juries of several international Piano competitions, notably in Romania, Latvia, Russia and Slovenia and gives many masterclasses, both in the UK and overseas, most recently in China and Hong Kong. He is in considerable demand as an adjudicator and is a member of the ABRSM examining panel, which has taken him to Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Indonesia and many European countries.