James B. Wilson
RPS Composer 2020 | Presteigne Festival 2021
James B. Wilson is an award-winning composer of contemporary classical music based in Bedfordshire. He studied, with a scholarship, at the Royal Academy of Music with Gary Carpenter and David Sawer, and took frequent lessons with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
James’ music explores the rich textural, timbral and harmonic possibilities of acoustic instruments, and the voice. His output is influenced by stories of our time and the work and ideas of many composers and artists, ranging from Benjamin Britten to Sonic Youth, and the poetry of Dylan Thomas to the films of David Lynch. For instance, a recent piece (Free-man) saw James explore the events of the Bristol Bus Boycott and is dedicated to activist Dr Paul Stevenson OBE.
His multi-faceted compositions 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 output, with numerous choral pieces alongside concert works with a theatrical influence or vocal quality.
James has won a number of awards including the Evan Senior Scholarship, Peter Lamborne Youth Bursary, Lena Pritchard Green Award, Charles Black Fellowship, and worked with many leading musicians including pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, members of the London Symphony Orchestra, Genesis 16 and Note Inegales. James is an NMC Recording Artist and his music is broadcast internationally, recently with a performance given by the BBC Singers, later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He was the first ever composer commissioned by the Chineke! Orchestra; the resulting piece The Green Fuse premiered at Cheltenham Music Festival.
James' commission is kindly supported by the Elgar Bursary Fund and Presteigne Festival. Other commissions we are able to give to the composers on our 2020-21 Composers programme are made possible thanks to RPS Members and support from the Susan Bradshaw Composers' Fund, Delius Trust, The Fidelio Charitable Trust, Garrick Charitable Trust, and The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.