James Chan (1997- ) is a Hong Kong-born composer currently based in London. His music often inhabits a delicate and fragile sound world, and draws much inspiration from other art forms – from film to sculpture – with a predilection for the writings of Virginia Woolf and the patingings of Agnes Martin.
From 2011-2016 he studied music at Lancing College with Ian Morgan-Williams and Neil Cox, and at the age of 17 he started composing as part of the A Level course and discovered his passion for composition. He is now studying for an MMus at the Royal Academy of Music under Edmund Finnis and David Sawer, having graduated from the ‘joint-course’ at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied with Gary Carpenter.
In 2016 James was announced as the winner in the senior category of the BBC Inspire Young Composers’ Competition, the winning composition, Litany for string orchestra, was premiered by the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon. He has since worked with a number of other ensembles and players including the Psappha Ensemble and the NYCGB Fellowship Octet (2016-17), and his music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. More recently, he has been chosen to be part of the London Symphony Orchestra Panufnik Composers Scheme 2019; his piece Tanztheatre was workshopped by the orchestra, conducted by Jack Sheen, in March 2021.