James’ wide-ranging portfolio encompasses work with professional and amateur ensembles, choral societies, chamber and church choirs, and new music groups, as well as writing.
Having read Music at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, he went on to study conducting with Paul Brough. He holds diplomas in organ and choral direction from the Royal College of Organists, the latter as winner of the John Brook (IAO) Memorial Prize. In 2021, he will compete in international conducting competitions in Romania and Denmark.
A keen proponent of new and under-explored music, he has premiered works by Nick Bicat, Danyal Dhondy, Solfa Carlile, Sarah MacDonald, and others, and masterminded composition competitions and commissioning initiatives. In 2021, he will conduct premieres of work by Grayston Ives, Sarah Rimkus, Ben Rowarth, and others. He works regularly with the new music commissioning charity Cantata Dramatica.
A CD recording of music by the Restoration-era polymath Henry Aldrich, with the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church, was released by Convivium Records in 2019 – ‘spirited performances […] a valuable addition to the catalogue and a fitting and vital tribute to Henry Aldrich’ (Church Music Quarterly).
In 2018, he was appointed Music Director to Wokingham Choral Society, in succession to conductors including Stephen Layton and Edward Gardner. The 100-strong choir gives four annual concerts, with recent highlights including performances of Mozart Requiem, Haydn Creation, and Dvorak Stabat mater.
Steeped in church music from a young age, he is currently Director of Cathedral Singers at Christ Church Cathedral, running the high-achieving non-professional choir, one of the most active of its type in the country. He has also held Director of Music positions at St Mary’s, Battersea, and, while an undergraduate, Pusey House in Oxford. He is Chapel Music Advisor to Hertford College, University of Oxford, tutoring the organ scholars in all aspects of church music.
James is also the conductor of Jubilate Chamber Choir, an auditioned group giving several annual concerts, with recent highlights including Bernstein Chichester Psalms, a composition competition, and activities celebrating the choir’s 25th anniversary.
An enthusiastic musical communicator, he is frequently commissioned to write programme notes and essays for groups and publications including The Tallis Scholars, Organists’ Review, Dunedin Consort, The Eric Whitacre Singers, and others.
Visit his website for further information: jamesmpotter.com