James Gilchrist began his working life as a doctor, turning to a full-time career in music in 1996. His musical interest was fired at a young age, singing first as a chorister in the choir of New College, Oxford, and later as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge.
James’ extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform in major concert halls throughout the world with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington, Bernard Labadie, Harry Christophers, Harry Bicket and the late Richard Hickox. 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 BBC Proms reviewer noted, "he hasn’t become a one-man Evangelist industry by chance".
A prolific and versatile recitalist, James enjoys imaginative and varied programming in collaborations with pianists Anna Tilbrook and Julius Drake, and harpist Alison Nicholls. James returned to the Wigmore Hall to begin his project with Anna Tilbrook, Schumann and the English Romantics, pairing Schumann song cycles with new 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, St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Finzi song cycle Oh Fair To See, When Laura Smiles with Matthew Wadsworth, Leighton Earth Sweet Earth, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge, Finzi songs, Britten’s Winter Words and the critically-acclaimed recordings of Schubert’s song cycles.