Canadian flutist Chris James is a highly versatile young performer. Recently appointed to the Assistant Principal Flute and Piccolo chair of the Vancouver Symphony, he previously held positions in the Memphis, Missouri and Ann Arbor Symphonies. Praised by the New York Times for his "brilliant" orchestral playing, Chris enjoyed a stellar freelance career prior to joining the VSO - appearing with orchestras including the Detroit, Toronto, Albany and Nashville Symphonies, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra, and the Buffalo Philharmonic.
Also an active chamber musician and soloist, Chris looks forward to his VSO solo debut in January 2018, playing Schnittke's Concerto Grosso no. 1 with VSO principal flute Christie Reside. He has performed in such diverse venues New York’s Weill Hall, Toronto’s Mad Bean Café, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and Ontario Legislature Buildings, and the open-air Piazza del Plebiscito in Viterbo, Italy. Recent honours include performances at the 2017 edition of the prestigious Kobe International Flute Competition, and an appearance on CBC Music's "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30" (2017). Chris has won prizes at numerous competitions at home and abroad, including the National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition, and the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals' National Competition. He has been invited as a recitalist to the Mid-South Flute Festival, the Universities of Memphis and Central Arkansas, the National Flute Association Convention, and concert venues across Canada and the United States.
A dedicated educator, Chris is increasingly in demand as an adjudicator. He has recently served in this capacity at the Mid-South Flute Festival, the Toronto, Ottawa and Oshawa Kiwanis Festivals, Rhodes College and the University of Michigan. He teaches regularly in schools around the Metro Vancouver area through VSO Connects, and welcomes students of all ages and levels to his private studio in Vancouver.
Eric Weiner Photography
Chris holds a bachelor's degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Linda Chesis, and graduated with both the President's Award and the Janet D. Schenck Memorial Award in recognition of distinguished contribution to the life of the school. Chris also holds an Associateship Diploma from Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, which he earned while studying with Vicki Blechta. He holds three medals from that institution recognizing the highest marks achieved in his class in practical examinations. Other formative teachers have included Susan Hoeppner, Nora Shulman, Tara Helen O’Connor and Camille Churchfield. He has appeared in master classes with Emmanuel Pahud, Mathieu Dufour, Jeffrey Khaner, Paul Edmund-Davies, and Louis Moyse, among many others.