Born in London, James Henshaw read Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar and award winner as both conductor and pianist.
Having graduated with a Distinction in Repetiteuring from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he assisted Mark Wigglesworth at the Aldeburgh Music Festival on Owen Wingrave, with a cast including Susan Bullock, Janis Kelly, Richard Berkeley-Steele, Ross Ramgobin and Jonathan Summers. He also assisted Mark Wigglesworth at the Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and worked with Ivor Bolton on Monteverdi’s Orfeoas Chorus Master at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Summer 2014.
James Henshaw founded and runs his own orchestra in Notting Hill called The Outcry Ensemble devoted to giving a world premiere at every concert. Last season, he also conducted the orchestra in Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream for performances at Middle Temple Hall.
During 2014 / 2015, James Henshaw has worked as Staff Conductor at English Touring Opera, where he assisted on L’assiedo di Calais and Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo as well as conducting La bohème.
He is the Music Director of Ashtead Choral Society with engagements during 2016 / 2017 including Handel's Messiah.
James Henshaw is currently Chorus master at English National Opera after spending the 2015 / 2016 as Assistant Chorus Master. During that season he also assisted Mark Wigglesworth as Assistant Conductor on Jenufa at ENO and on Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2016 BBC Proms.
Future plans include assistant conductor on Longborough Festival Opera's The Magic Flute, including a performance of his own, the same for Garsington Opera, assisting on Flight at Scottish Opera and conducting Jonathan Dove’s The Day After for ENO Studio Live, as well as taking his orchestra on tour to France.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Middle Temple Hall
“James Henshaw, assistant chorus master at English National Orchestra and working on the company's forthcoming Jenůfa, has the total confidence to get the right precision from the excellent young Outcry in the Overture's fairy music, the perfect shaping of its love themes and a rustic rudeness to the mechanicals' bergomask stomp.”
The Arts Desk