Toronto-born Chris James has established himself as one of the foremost Canadian flutists of his generation. Winning his first orchestral position at age 20, and named one of the “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” by CBC Music in 2017, he has been commended for his precise and sensitive playing both in the orchestra and as a soloist.
Currently holding the Solo Piccolo position in the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Chris has previously held positions with the Memphis, Missouri and Ann Arbor Symphonies, and was Assistant Principal Flute and Piccolo with the Vancouver Symphony for five seasons. Over the years, he has performed with the Toronto, Detroit, and Nashville Symphonies, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Canada), the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, among many others.
Equally comfortable performing the standard repertoire and works off the beaten track, Chris has appeared as a soloist in music by Boulez and Schnittke as well as CPE Bach and Vivaldi, among others, and the Brandenburg Concerti. He has commissioned numerous works for solo flute, and loves to introduce audiences to new and unusual repertoire. His recent contributions to the Canadian new music scene include participating in Jordan Nobles’ Emergent Behaviour (2021), a multimedia video work for flutes, and playing flute, piccolo, and recorder on The Smile of Maud Lewis, a retrospective of the work of Canadian composer Nikolai Korndorf, available on Redshift Records.
James is also a dedicated teacher, on the faculty at McGill University. He has given masterclasses and clinics at universities and festivals across North America, including the Universities of Toronto, British Columbia, Lethbridge, Memphis, Central Arkansas, and more. In demand as an adjudicator, he has enjoyed travelling Canada to adjudicate at the provincial level in Ontario and Alberta, and in local festivals all over the country, as well as flute events including the Mid-South Flute Festival, the New Jersey Flute Fair, and the Virtual Flute Music Festival.