James Ham studied conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatory. Recent and future performances include concerts with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Magdeburgische Philharmonie, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Ensemble Modern Akademie, Gibraltar Philharmonic and education concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently conductor of the London Orchestra Project, a chamber orchestra featuring some of the UK’s finest orchestral players, which he co-founded along with Stephen Bryant, concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
James has a keen interest in the theatre and has conducted performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Il Tabarro and Le Nozze di Figaro. As assistant conductor, he has assisted Nicholas Kraemer on a staged production of Handel’s Belshazzar and assisted on English Touring Opera’s L’Assedio di Calais. In 2020, he will assist Wayne Marshall on Porgy and Bess at the Theater an der Wien and Anthony Bramall on Rigoletto at the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich. James has also conducted workshops with the Komische Oper Berlin, Magdeburg Theater and Staatsoper Cottbus. As Conducting Fellow with Birmingham Royal Ballet, he conducted performances of The Nutcracker, Coppélia and The Grand Tour.
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 conductor with of the London Sinfonietta Academy, Ensemble Modern Akademie and Lucerne Festival Academy, where he was Conducting Fellow in 2016. He has assisted Sakari Oramo on a number of projects with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has also assisted Karel Mark Chichon with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie on several occasions. Other conductors he has assisted include Sir Mark Elder, Garry Walker and Martin André.
In 2013, James was awarded a 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.