James Orford is currently the Organist in Residence at Westminster Cathedral, where he plays an important role in the weekly cycle of services as well as contributing to the life of the choir. He previously held organ scholarships at St Paul’s Cathedral, Truro Cathedral, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and King’s College, London. Last summer, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with David Titterington and Bine Bryndorf. He completed his postgradute degree with distinction, having previously completed his undergraduate degree with first-class honours. He was the recipient of the Duchess of Gloucester’s Award for Exemplary Studentship in 2019 and was awarded one of the Academy’s distinguished Bicentenary Scholarships.
James enjoys a busy performing schedule and has given recitals and concerts in many of the UK’s most notable venues, including St Paul’s, Westminster, and Liverpool Cathedrals, several Cambridge college chapels, and the Royal Festival Hall. He has an extensive repertoire, which includes works from all the major schools of organ repertoire and has completed many transcriptions for the organ, including Vivaldi L’estro Armonico Op. 3, Sibelius Karelia Suite Op. 11, and Howells King’s Herald. He has recently finished recording his transcription of L’estro Armonico, which is due for release within the next year. He has also performed as part of the St Alban’s, Edinburgh Fringe, London Handel, and Brandenburg Festivals.
James works extensively as a choral accompanist and has collaborated with many professional and amateur choirs. Currently, he is the accompanist for the Thames Philharmonic Choir and the London Pro Arte Choir. He works regularly with the London Choral Sinfonia, London Chamber Choir, The Strand Consort, The Laudate Choir, and the Sloane Square Choral Society and has also worked with many prominent conductors, including David Hill, John Rutter, and Jeremy Summerly. Engagements as an accompanist have taken him to many venues in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, the USA, and Nigeria. He has played for services and concerts in such venues as the Royal Festival Hall, Chartres Cathedral, France, Neresheim Abbey, Germany, Lund Cathedral, Sweden, and Christchurch Cathedral, Montreal. He has played for broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and appears on two recordings with the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and one with King’s College, London.
James is also an accomplished pianist, and regularly performs as both a soloist and accompanist. He was the pianist for a six-month concert series in 2020 at St Paul’s Cathedral, which celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Louis Vierne’s birth. He regularly performs with both instrumental and vocal soloists, most notably Susan Bullock CBE and Ian Bostridge CBE, and has won the accompanist prizes in the AESS Courtney Kenny Song Competition, the John Kerr English Song Competition, and the Marjorie Thomas Art of Song Prize. Some other significant engagements include a performance of the Schumann Piano Concerto at Cadogan Hall and a world premiere performance of his own two piano arrangement of Seek him that maketh the seven stars by Jonathan Dove at Queen Elizabeth Hall.