James Henshaw is an Olivier nominated Opera, Choral and Orchestral Conductor based in Berlin.  He will be making his German conducting debut in Hamburg in February before working at Glyndebourne for the first time following a 2020 Covid cancellation.

James joined English National Opera in August 2015 and became ENO’s youngest ever Chorus Master in August 2016. He left to pursue a freelance career as a conductor in December 2019. During his tenure the Chorus won a 2016 Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’ and ‘Best Chorus’ at the International Opera Awards.

During James’s time at ENO he made his London Coliseum debut as 2nd conductor in Birtwistle’s Mask of Orpheus for which he received his Olivier award nomination. He conducted the UK premier of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After named by the Guardian as one of Classical music’s top 10 best things in 2017, Britten’s Paul Bunyan at Alexandra Palace and was due to conduct the final three performances of a new production of The Marriage of Figaro in April 2020 until the run of performances was cut short by the Covid-19 crisis. 


Coming soon…

– June, 2022 –

James is announced as the new Chorus Director for the London International Choral Festival. This will involve trips around America working with Children and preparing them to come and sing a concert in the New Year in London.

– September, 2022 –

James will assist Ben Glassberg-Frost on Rigoletto in Rouen.

– October 16th, 2022 –

James will conduct Brahms Requiem with his orchestra, The Outcry Ensemble, at St John’s Smith Square – Tickets can be bought here


– February, 2022 –

James makes his German conducting debut at the Hamburg Hochschule. He will conduct a new Opera, “Penelope, die“, a feminist work exploring the life of Odysseus’s wife. The work includes music by Faure, Debussy, Monteverdi and Steven Tanato. 

– May to August, 2022 –

James will work at Glyndebourne as Assistant Conductor to Jordan de Souza on Puccini’s La Boheme

– November, 2021 –

On November 6th, James conducted Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, conducting his orchestra, The Academy of English Voices and 4 fantastic soloists:


On the Saturday the 27th, James stepped in to conduct The Surrey Mozart Players

 – June-July, 2021 –

James conducted Beethoven Symphonies 1-8, playing to a sold out audience and raising money for freelance musicians in London

 – May 4th, 2021 –

James and his orchestra The Outcry Ensemble launched a music festival for this summer: Beethoven 251

Performances take place in central London this summer. See the link above for more information

– November 2020 –

James conducted a film version of Britten’s Owen Wingrave for Grange Park Opera