James Gilchrist has become established as a leading interpreter of Oratorio and Song, especially the German and English repertoire. He began his life as a singer performing with specialists in Historically-Informed performance of earlier music, groups such as the Tallis Scholars, Sixteen, Cardinall’s Musick, Binchois Consort and the Clerks’ Group, and has maintained an interest in older music, working as a vocalist with viol consorts, performing Lieder with pianos other than modern concert grands, and working with Lutenists.
Much of his work is in the Baroque repertoire of Bach and Handel, and he regularly works with British experts in this area – the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Monteverdi choir, Gabrilei consort and Dunedin Consort. James has become well-known as evangelist in the Bach passions, and has recorded both several times. Much of his recorded output, though, is in the song repertoire, including Schubert and Schumann (with Orchid and Linn, respectively), English Song (Britten, Berkeley, Finzi) and contemporary music (Hugh Wood, John Jeffreys).
Working as a chamber musician is increasingly where his career is going. He has worked for more than 20 years with the pianist Anna Tilbrook, with whom he has recorded and broadcast extensively. As a teacher, he has worked in the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Northern College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire, before coming to Cardiff in 2019.