James B. Wilson is an award-winning composer of contemporary classical music based in Bedfordshire, England. James' music focuses on the rich textural, timbral and harmonic possibilities of acoustic instruments, and the voice. He is at heart a storyteller. His output is particularly notable for a number of works that explore visceral stories of contemporary life.
His landmark work Remnants re-opened the Southbank centre after 2020’s tragic covid epidemic. In this work James responds to 2020’s most viral image, depicting Patrick Hutchinson saving a counter protestor. The piece garnered attention worldwide. This is music that dares to tell a vital story of our time. In 2022 he will be premiering a new piece that will open the iconic last night of the BBC Proms.
Other works in his output range from intimate music for soloists and duets, to immersive electronic pieces, ensemble music, and works for orchestra. His passion for working with the voice is also apparent in his catalogue.
James studied, with a scholarship, at Royal Academy of Music under Gary Carpenter and David Sawer, and also took frequent lessons with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. He has also won a number of awards, including the Royal Philharmonic Society Composer Award, Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award, Lena Pritchard Green Award, Charles Black Fellowship, and worked with many leading musicians of our times, including Benjamin Grosvenor, BBC NOW, members of the London Symphony Orchestra, Genesis 16 and Note Inegales. James is an NMC Recording Artist and his music is broadcast internationally. Notably, he was the first ever composer commissioned by the Chineke! Orchestra.