James Gilchrist tenor

James Gilchrist began his working life as a doctor, turning toa full-time career in music in 1996. His musical interest wasfired at a young age, singing first as a chorister in the choirof New College, Oxford, and later as a choral scholar inKing’s College Choir, Cambridge.

James’ extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform inmajor concert halls throughout the world, with conductorsincluding Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington,Bernard Labadie, Harry Christophers, Harry Bicket and the late Sir Richard Hickox, to name buta few. Recent highlights have included Britten’s Church Parables with performances in St Petersburg, London and at the Aldeburgh Festival, Handel’s L’Allegro il Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Solomon with Les Violons du Roy, Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri and Die Schöpfung at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Britten’s Nocturne with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and War Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. As the Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s great Passions of St John and St Matthew, James works consistently at the highest level and is recognised as ‘the finest Evangelist of his generation’; as one recent reviewer at the 2014 St John Passion BBC Prom with Zürcher Kammerorchester and Sir Roger Norrington noted, "he hasn’t become aone-man Evangelist industry by chance".

A prolific and versatile recitalist, James enjoys imaginative and varied programming, often pairing new works with the more established song cycles, in collaborations with pianists Anna Tilbrook and Julius Drake and harpist Alison Nicholls. Recent appearances include a Schubertiade weekend at St John Smith Square and Schwanengesang coupled withBeethoven An die Ferne Geliebte at the Wigmore Hall. James will return to the Wigmore Hall in January 2016, to begin a three-concert recital series spanning two years, performing the Schumann song cycles Eichendorff and Liederkreis Op 24 and Dichterliebe, coupled with commissions from leading composers, Sally Beamish, Julian Philips and Jonathan Dove setting English poetry of the Romantic period.  James’ impressive discography includes the title role in Albert Herring and Vaughan Williams A Poisoned Kiss for Chandos, St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music, Finzi song cycles Oh Fair To See, Elizabethan Lute Songs, When Laura Smiles with Matthew Wadsworth, Leighton Earth Sweet Earth, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock edge, Finzi songs and Britten’s Winter Words for Linn Records and the critically-acclaimed recordings of Schubert’s songcycles for Orchid Classics.


James Gilchrist's past performances


Recordings featuring James Gilchrist