Described as a refined conductor with a genuine passion for music, James S. Kahane has been led to conduct first-rate orchestras such as the Finnish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Strings, and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, and presently holds the position of Principal Conductor of the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra and Conductor of the Polytech Orchestra in Finland. Aged only 21, he was chosen to be Assistant Conductor to Susanna Mälkki at the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, where he served until Autumn 2018.
During the previous seasons, James has been invited to the Lucerne Festival Conducting Masterclass (out of more than 360 candidates) with Bernard Haitink, to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in summer, and to the Deutsche Dirigentenpreis 2017 (German Conductors' Awards), where he was one of the 12 competitors to conduct the WDR Sinfonieorchester and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln. Prior to that, he has already been the youngest selected conductor for the Gstaad Menuhin Festival, where he was later chosen by Neeme Järvi to conduct in an official festival concert. In 2018, James has been solicited by Kristjan Järvi to conduct the Baltic Academies Orchestra in Berlin as part of their first international tour, and the following year, he was awarded a fellowship to attend the Atlantic Music Festival in the United States. In Spring 2020, James was invited to assist Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu at the Orchestre de Paris.
Other orchestras he conducted include the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Jyväskylä Sinfonia, St. Michel Strings, the Triangle Orchestra, the Francophonia Orchestra, the Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, the Pori Sinfonietta, the Joensuu City Orchestra, the Järvi Academy Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, and the Rehovot Symphony Orchestra. Proficient in various genres of music, from early baroque up until the music of our times, James was a Guest Conductor at the NYKY Ensemble, the Hurra Barockorkester, the Sibelius Academy Baroque Orchestra, and the Buchmann Mehta School of Music Contemporary Ensemble. Further engagements this season include concerts in Finland and the Netherlands.
OCTOBER 27th 2021
"Five Strokes of the Drum - Is that the beginning of the concert? Although contemporaries were appalled by many of Beethoven's peculiar ideas, as time passed and as his popularity increased, his violin concerto grew into a real Primus inter pares, a yardstick for every similar composition and performance. From the very first bars that develop into the motto of the whole work, a majestic epic character grows, which hides uniquely happy and amicable music. As the best player in the village, the soloist can bring hope and good humor to both the soul and the ears by brilliantly proving his skill!
Similarly happy are Bohuslav Martinů's tunes, whose Sinfonietta, which reflects the feelings of an American small town, exudes vital joy of life, and Gabriel Fauré's, who elegantly updates the melancholy invigorating Baroque dance for a new era. Also happy are the young top talent, conductor James Kahane and violinist Abel Puustinen, when they get to serve this full dose of music - a researched happiness medicine for the brain."
Gabriel Fauré: Pavane
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto (soloist: Abel Puustinen)
Bohuslav Martinů: Sinfonietta "La Jolla"
Conductor - James S. Kahane
27.10.2021, Jyväskylä City Theater, Jyväskylä, Finland.
THE DOCUMENTARY MOVIE "CONDUCTIVITY" TO BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 7th
The documentary movie "Conductivity", which features James S. Kahane as one of its 3 main protagonists, is set to be released on February 7th of 2020 in the movie theaters in Finland.
The movie follows James through the last 3 years and highlights various musical events and moments from his conducting education in Finland.
"Conductivity is a film about creative leadership told through the story of three young conductors at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland; I-Han Fu (Taiwan), Emilia Hoving (Finland) and James S. Kahane (France). When stepping on the podium, they are put under a magnifying glass. Conductor training, in essence, is leadership training. The film gives a unique viewpoint to follow the students, as this is the first film about conductor training at the Sibelius Academy."
Direction: Anna-Karin Grönroos. Script: Anna-Karin Grönroos. Cinematography: Mika Mattila. Editing: Okku Nuutilainen. Sound Design: Tuomas Klaavo. Composer: Salla Luhtala. Cast: Emilia Hoving, I-Han Fu, James S. Kahane, Atso Almila, Susanna Mälkki, Hannu Lintu. Production: Tuffi Films / Venla Hellstedt.