Currently pursuing a Masters Degree in violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg with Tanja Becker-Bender, violinist and composer James McFadden-Talbot studied for five years with internationally renowned solo violinist Midori Goto. He received a Bachelors of Music in Violin as a Presidential Scholar of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and continued for a fifth year with a full scholarship in the Graduate Certificate Program. In 2013 he was given the USC Thornton School Strings Department Award.
James is one of the first four Los Angeles Philharmonic Composer Fellows and studied from 2007-2009 with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky. During this time, the Los Angeles Philharmonic premiered his orchestral composition Urban Sea and his composition for woodwinds Pentawhistle in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Also in Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Sonus Quartet and five-time Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride premiered Spring Revisited, a piece James co-composed with his three Composer Fellow colleagues.
When James was 12 years old, The Wild Ginger Philharmonic premiered his first composition Andante in C Major in Zipper Hall at the Los Angeles Colburn School. Two years later, his composition for orchestra Across Five Aprils won First Place in the International Composition For Orchestra Competition of the Asia America Symphony. In 2010, his work Concern was performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. James has composed and performed original music for theater productions, most notably Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles’ world-premiere production of House of Gold.
Incorporating movement and elements of his original Sonata for Violin solo, James performed six one-hour-long improvisations with the Bundesjugendballett through main galleries of the Hamburger Kunsthalle on its reopening weekend in 2016, which hosted over 20,000 visitors. In his Masters Graduation Recital on June 23, 2016 in the Laeiszhalle Kleiner Saal in Hamburg, he premieres two solo works he commissioned, and at the end of July 2016, he inaugurates a new chamber music festival near the city of Montpellier in southern France: Festival à Pélican.
James recorded for Hyperion Records in Aldeburgh Strings, and in the Britten-Pears Orchestra, he recorded the Benjamin Britten centenary production of Peter Grimes “Grimes on the Beach” starring Alan Oke and conducted by Stuart Bedford. James has performed in the Aspen Festival and Chamber Orchestras, the Banff Festival Orchestra, and the Redlands Symphony. He has served as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the University of Southern California Symphony, and the Texas Festival Orchestra.