James  Black
Photo: Niklas Ottander

James Black

(1990-)

When awarding James Black the large working grant, the Danish Arts Foundation wrote:

“With James Black, you encounter a universe of real madness where ‘everything goes’. Where DIY video, hopeless choreographed performances, and accurately notated score music – among many other things – in a deliberately unsightly mix make up the work. The impossible is a deliberate dogma resulting in a unified expression, which is chaotic and almost gallows humorous, but where one senses a composer who ultimately has complete control over the final result. He is extremely consistent in what he has set out to do, and perhaps that is why you never doubt that it is James Black and not any other composer you are dealing with.” 

As the motivation touches upon, performative and theatrical elements are often used as central aspects in James Black's works. In RAUS (2017), which world premiered by the Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen at Klang Festival 2017, the composer himself plays a central role, as he sings a folk tune with his untrained voice, plays a synth solo on the keyboard, and makes hand and arm gestures in rhythmical patterns. In a review, the Norwegian music magazine Ballade describes the piece as: “a mixture of the Kodály method and The Village People’s YMCA-dance”.

James Black was born in 1990 in Torquay, England. In 2013, having studied saxophone, musicology, and composition at Oxford University, he moved to Copenhagen to complete his composition studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Taught by Hans Abrahamsen, Bent Sørensen, Jeppe Just Christensen, Niels Rosing-Schow and Hans Peter Stubbe Tejlbjærg, he graduated from the soloist class in February 2018. 

James Black received the large working grant of the Danish Arts Foundation 2020, the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Talent Award 2019, and Pelle-Prisen 2018.


Press photos:
Download high-resolution photo by Niklas Ottander

Reviews and articles:
Interview Seismograf 07.02.2018
Interview Politiken 23.02.2018
Review Debut Concert 02.03.2018
Interview DR 05.06.2018 
Review Ballade.no 11.09.2018

Review Politiken 05.06.2019
Review Seismograf 23.06.2019

Find separate reviews by each work

Available Works

All categories Solo 2-6 Instruments 7+ Instruments Orchestra

  1. Lullabies

    2019 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  2. Antifleur

    2019 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  3. RAUS

    2017 • James Black

    7+ Instruments

  4. SPEAK

    2017 • James Black

    7+ Instruments

  5. The Gospel Accordion 2

    2014 • James Black

    Solo

  6. Kakashi

    2016 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  7. Everything is gonna burn, we'll all take turns (I'll take mine too)

    2017 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  8. En tåre

    2016 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  9. Crow

    2016 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  10. Chorale Preludes

    2016 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  11. Bind us together with unbreakable chords

    2017 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  12. Ballades

    2016 • James Black

    Solo

  13. Al-Anbiq

    2015 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments

  14. Ground Moves

    2016 • James Black

    Orchestra

  15. At night, walking shoes full of blood on the door (or, steam heating a room full of opium)

    2015 • James Black

    2-6 Instruments




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News

  1. Selected summer performances

    general

    Selected summer performances

  2. Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

    nominations / awards

    Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

  3. Music video · James Black

    releases

    Music video · James Black

  1. Album release · James Black

    general

    Album release · James Black

  2. Closer Conversations · James Black

    general

    Closer Conversations · James Black

  3. Reviews · SPOR festival

    general

    Reviews · SPOR festival

  4. World Premieres · Rønsholdt, Nielsen, Black & Ernst at SPOR

    general

    World Premieres · Rønsholdt, Nielsen, Black & Ernst at SPOR

  5. Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

    general

    Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

  6. Danish/Korean Festival Collaboration

    general

    Danish/Korean Festival Collaboration

  7. Gísladóttir and Black at Young Nordic Music

    general

    Gísladóttir and Black at Young Nordic Music

  8. Gísladóttir og Black på programmet til Ung Nordisk Musik 2019

    general

    Gísladóttir og Black på programmet til Ung Nordisk Musik 2019

  9. Praising words to Rønsholdt and Black in Seismograf

    general

    Praising words to Rønsholdt and Black in Seismograf

  10. Talent award for Bára Gísladóttir and James Black

    general

    Talent award for Bára Gísladóttir and James Black

  11. Two world premieres at KLANG reviewed

    general

    Two world premieres at KLANG reviewed

  12. Interview: James Black and the summoning of POSY

    general

    Interview: James Black and the summoning of POSY

  13. KLANG 2019

    general

    KLANG 2019

  14. Save 25% on all solo pieces

    general

    Save 25% on all solo pieces

  15. James Black at UNM

    general

    James Black at UNM

  16. James Black receives Pelleprisen

    general

    James Black receives Pelleprisen

  17. James Black - new Edition·S composer

    general

    James Black - new Edition·S composer

  18. James Black debut

    general

    James Black debut

  19. Edition·S pieces at UNM Festival 2016

    general

    Edition·S pieces at UNM Festival 2016

  20. Edition·S Orchestral Project with Composition Students

    general

    Edition·S Orchestral Project with Composition Students

  21.  PULSAR: Interview with Aya Yoshida and James Black

    general

    PULSAR: Interview with Aya Yoshida and James Black

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Calendar

  1. October 2021
  2. 31

    October

    James Black: At night, walking shoes full of blood on the door

    time16:00

    location Lille sal, Musikhuset, Aarhus, Denmark

    performed by Århus Sinfonietta