James studied cello performance at the University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Western Australia & Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
His teachers included Nelson Cooke, Michael Goldschlager, Susanne Wijsman & Susan Blake and then masterclasses with Bernard Greenhouse (USA), Steven Isserlis (UK), Bonnie Hampton (USA), Douglas Cameron (UK), & Hidemi Suzuki (Japan).
As a member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra 1999—2012, James performed in many of the major cultural institutions and concert halls of Australia, UK, France & Germany.
He is featured on the Brandenburg’s ARIA Awards for Best Classical Release (2010, 2009, 2005). James also performs with Pinchgut Opera, Sinfonia Australis, Ironwood, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra & Cologne Chamber Orchestra and is a regular in the recording studios of Sydney.
James performs with an instrument attributed to Simone Fernando Sacconi and a range of modern and historic bows. James is a former Artistic Manager of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra & General Manager of the Foundation for the Historic Houses Trust of NSW.