Biography

British conductor James Southall has conducted several leading opera companies and orchestras including Welsh National Opera (WNO), English Touring Opera, Opéra de Baugé and the Orchestra of WNO. He has conducted WNO in productions of Carmen, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte and The Barber of Seville.

Having made a successful debut as guest conductor at Opéra de Baugé directing Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, James was invited to conduct Strauss’s Die Fledermaus at Baugé in 2013. In Spring 2014 he made his debut with English Touring Opera conducting The Magic Flute. James has studied with Lothar Koenigs, Jorma Panula, Sir Roger Norrington and Yan Pascal Tortelier.

An award-winning pianist, James has performed recitals at Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and live on BBC Radio 3. He has collaborated with Bryn Terfel, Rebecca Evans, Elizabeth Watts, Ben Johnson, Ailish Tynan and Wynne Evans.

Recordings include the highly acclaimed Engel Lund’s Book of Folk Songs for Nimbus Records, a disc of 20th century English choral works with the choir of Queens’ College Cambridge, and a recital with bass David Soar for Resonus Classics featuring a selection of rarely heard songs by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs, Henry Purcell and Frederick Keel.

James was Organ Scholar at Queens’ College, Cambridge University. He completed his Master of Music in Advanced Piano Performance (Distinction) at the Royal College of Music. James was awarded the Kendall Taylor Prize, Sir Gordon Palmer Prize and the David Bowerman Fellowship. In 2008 he won the Musicians Benevolent Fund Accompanist’s Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards (Wigmore Hall) and the Maggie Teyte Competition for French Art Song (Royal Opera House).

James is fluent in French and German. He speaks Italian and Spanish to a good standard.