James Ham is Principal Conductor of the London Orchestra Project – a new chamber orchestra featuring players from London’s leading orchestras including the BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony and English Chamber Orchestra alongside outstanding recent graduates from London’s music colleges. He also acts as assistant to Sakari Oramo for projects in London and elsewhere, and was Conducting Fellow with Birmingham Royal Ballet for 2013-14, where he led performances in Birmingham and on tour.
Other recent performances include the New London Orchestra, City of London Festival and education concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Outside of the UK, James has conducted orchestras in Germany, Portugal, Cyprus, Romania, Malta, Switzerland, India, Hong Kong and Russia. Recent opera performances have included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Il Tabarro and Le Nozze di Figaro. He was assistant conductor on English Touring Opera’s production of L’Assedio di Calais and also the world premiere of The Anatomy of Melancholy.
James studied conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatory. During his studies he was also selected for international masterclasses with Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Gerd Albrecht and Martyn Brabbins, conducting some of the UK’s finest orchestras in the process, including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Conductors he has assisted include Sakari Oramo, Karel Mark Chichon, Garry Walker, Nicholas Kraemer, Martin André and Kristjan Järvi.
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 and Barber Trust. He was appointed Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Fellow at Trinity Conservatoire for 2013-15. This summer, James will be Conducting Fellow at the Lucerne Festival Academy, where he will conduct sessions and work alongside Alan Gilbert, Matthias Pintscher, Susanna Mälkki and Wolfgang Rihm.