James graduated from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore under the tutelage of Qin Li-Wei, Head of Cello Studies. Prior to that, he was one of the original members of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra having served as Principal Cello since its inception in 2006.
In 2007, James won first prize at the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage Chamber Music Competition, Malaysia with his piano trio; The Last Minute Trio. That same year he was granted a bursary to Oxford Cello School in the Advanced Cello Performance course performing in master classes with Phillip Shephard and Alexander Boyarsky. In 2011, he attended Aspen Music Festival and School with full tuition scholarship studying with Darrett Adkins followed by an exchange semester with the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under the tutelage of Alison Wells. During his time in America, he found his interest in performing contemporary music and has since premiered compositions both as a solo cellist and as a chamber musician.
James originally started learning the piano at age of 5 and later began learning the cello at the age of 7. Prior coming to Singapore, he studied with Chan Ling Chee, Laurentiu Gherman, Simon Cobcroft and Csaba Koros. He performed in masterclasses by Louise Hopkins, Alban Gerhardt, Ralph Kirshbaum, Shmuel Magen and Wen Sinn Yang. James is also well sought after as a freelance orchestral musician and has since performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Peabody Concert Orchestra, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, Penang Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Orchestra of the Music Makers and World Youth Orchestra of the 1st ever Singapore Youth Olympic Games as principal cello.
James hopes to be a musician that serves the community through teaching, performing and exploring the boundaries of contemporary music.