Until the age of 14, James had no formal academic musical education or dedicated mentoring. Aged 18 he stopped playing the piano entirely for a decade. Since returning to the piano, he has released six albums, all of which have topped the iTunes classical charts.
He has performed in venues and festivals around the world from the Barbican, Roundhouse, Royal Albert Hall in London, major international rock festivals.
In addition to writing regularly for the major UK newspapers and regularly presenting for BBC Radio 3, James has presented TV shows for the BBC, Sky Arts and Channel 4.
His Sunday Times and international bestselling memoir, Instrumental, published by Bloomsbury this week (7th Feb) is a brutally honest, moving and compelling story that was almost banned until the UK Supreme Court unanimously overthrew an injunction in May 2015.
Photography by Richard Ansett