James Ham studied conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatory. Recent and future performances include concerts with the Magdeburgische Philharmonie, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Ensemble Modern Akademie, Gibraltar Philharmonic and education concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently Principal Conductor of the London Orchestra Project, a chamber orchestra which he co-founded along with Stephen Bryant, concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
James has a keen interest in the theatre and recent opera performances include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Il Tabarro and Le Nozze di Figaro. As assistant conductor, he has worked on a production of Handel’s Belshazzar and also assisted on English Touring Opera’s L’Assedio di Calais. James has conducted workshops with the Komische Oper Berlin, Magdeburg Theater and Staatsoper Cottbus and in 2020, he will be assistant conductor on Porgy and Bess at the Theater an der Wien. As Conducting Fellow with Birmingham Royal Ballet, he conducted performances of The Nutcracker, Coppélia and The Grand Tour.
Other orchestras James has conducted include the Bochum Symphoniker, Jena Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra do Algarve, Lucerne Festival Strings and New London Orchestra. Since 2016, James has assisted Sakari Oramo on a number of projects with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has also assisted Karel Mark Chichon with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie on several occasions.
James studied in international masterclasses with Alan Gilbert, Susanna Mälkki, Martyn Brabbins, Roger Norrington, Johannes Schlaefli and Nicolas Pasquet, conducting orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, London Sinfonietta and Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the process. During his studies, James also recieved specialist training in contemporary music as a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy, London Sinfonietta Academy and with the Ensemble Modern Academy. He was Conducting Fellow at the Lucerne Festival Academy for 2016.
In 2013, James was awarded a prestigious BBC Performing Arts Fund Music Fellowship. He is currently a Help Musicians UK supported artist and has also received awards from the Tillett Trust. James held the Charles Mackerras Conducting Fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire from 2013-15.