During 2016 / 2017 James Henshaw made his conducting debut for English National Opera with Jonathan Dove’s The Day After for ENO Studio Live and conducted Die Zauberflöte for Longborough Festival Opera.
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 conducted the orchestra in Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream for performances at Middle Temple Hall and May 2017 sees the orchestra’s first performance as Orchestra in Association with The Temple Music Foundation.
Born in London, he read Music at Clare College, Cambridge, and graduated with a Distinction in Repetiteuring from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At the Bayerische Staatsoper, he worked with Ivor Bolton on Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and for English Touring Opera, he was Staff Conductor, where he assisted on L’assiedo di Calais and Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, as well as conducting La bohème.
He has 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, on Jenufa at English National Opera and at the 2016 Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
He is currently Chorus Master at English National Opera, where during his tenure the Chorus won a 2016 Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’ and ‘Best Chorus’ at the International Opera Awards.
Highlights of 2017 / 2018 additionally included assistant conductor and a performance of Die Zauberflöte for Garsington Opera at Wormsley, assisting on Flight at Scottish Opera (also conducting the ‘Unwrapped’ Performances) and assisting Vladimir Jurowski with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition to his work at English National Opera, his current plans include assisting on The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, debuts with the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, The Salomon Orchestra and The Royal Orchestral Society and his on-going series of concerts with The Outcry Ensemble.
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The Day After / ENO Studio Live
“James Henshaw took charge of the orchestra with great aplomb.”
“..everything works beautifully - the vocal writing and the scoring for a punchy, 16 piece, brass-heavy ensemble, confidently conducted by James Henshaw…”
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