player from Toronto, Ontario, who started playing piano and
recorder when he was young but gravitated to the horn when he was in high
school. He attended the University of Toronto
and the University
of Western Ontario
and completed his music studies in 1982.
In 1986, he
became a member of Orchestre Symphonique
de Montreal, and was their associate principal horn until 1991. He joined the Chamber Orchestra of
Europe in 1996 and served as acting principal horn for two years. In between, he found time to play
third horn for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in the autumn of 1997. He has also been the principal horn
of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, and Symphony
Nova Scotia. In addition to a busy performing and
recording schedule, he has been the conductor and music director of the
November 2007, he gave the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s “Horn
Concerto” with the BSO.
He and pianist
Aimee Tsuchiya reprised portions of the Carter concerto at Fraser
Performance Studio where WGBH recorded it in December 2008.
In April 2010,
he performed “Horn Concerto No. 2” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
with the BSO under the baton of Bernard Haitink.
deliver the world premiere of “Octet for Eleven” by Andre Previn at Jordan Hall on 17th October 2010.
November 2011, members of the BSO and New England Conservatory faculty teamed
up for William Bolcom’s “Fairy Tales”,
Francis Poulenc’s “Sextet” and Louis Spohr’s
“Nonet” at West
in Andover, Massachusetts.
offered up “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland, “Good
Friday Procession” by Henri Tomasi, The Rite of Spring by Igor
Stravinsky, “Serenade for Strings” by Peter Ilyich
Tchaikovsky and “Serenade in E flat, Op. 7” by Richard Strauss in
March 2012, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players reprised Tchaikovsky’s
serenade and bookended it with “Eight Russian Folksongs, Op. 58”
by Anatoly Liadov and “Hommage
a T.S. Eliot” by Sofia Gubaidulina at
which James appears include: Beethoven: Trio, Op. 11/Brahms: Trio, Op. 114/Dohnanyi: Sextet, Op. 37 with the
Claremont Trio, Jonathan Cohler and Mai Motobuchi; Chamber
Music for Horn with James Mason and Rena Sharon; An Evening from the 18th Century with Ronald Barron;
The Glory of Gabrieli
with the Empire Brass Quintet; In the
Twilight: Romantic Music for
Soprano, Horn and Piano with Annette Betanski
and Rena Sharon; Ludwig van
Beethoven: Quintet in E-flat
major, Op. 16/Trio in E-flat major, Op. 38 with the Amici
Quartet; and, Mozart Horn Concertos
with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Vancouver
In the field
of music education, he has taught at the Longy
School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music.