Musician. Conductor.



MARCH 21st 2019


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.




MARCH 11th 2021

2021 edition of the Francophonia Concert with the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, in collaboration with the French Institute in Finland.

"The Helsinki Chamber Orchestra and French Institute in Finland are happy and excited to invite you to the 2021 edition of the Francophonia Concert, marking the culmination of the “Mois de la Francophonie”!


Audiences from France, Finland, and all over the world are welcome to listen to and explore the powerful sonorities of the organ combined to the might of a chamber orchestra. In a program that acts as a bridge between France and Finland, immerse yourself in a sound world full of stark contrast, between the reverencial Gothic Suite by Léon Boëllmann, the intimate Rakastava (The Lover) Suite by Jean Sibelius, and finally, the overwhelming Organ Concerto by Francis Poulenc.

The concert will be live-streamed from Temppeliaukio Church on 11.03.2021 at 19:00, and therefore freely accessible all over the world! Performing on the Organ is our French guest Catherine Gouillard, and the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra is led by James S. Kahane."

11.3.2021, Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki, Finland.



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.

"James clearly has a natural talent for the art of conducting [...]. He is a very intelligent and passionate musician who shows great promise in his future as a conductor"

Gstaad, Switzerland

"I find [James] to be a profound and touching conductor. His Beethoven [Symphony No. 2] sounded vibrant and dynamic and I have to say I was quite impressed."

Lucerne, Switzerland

"Mr. Kahane is a sensitive and profound musician respected by his fellow students. He knows what he wants and is able to communicate this to the orchestra. This will take him far."

Helsinki, Finland

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Principal Conductor
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General Management:
Andreas Weller
E-Mail: wellerartistmanagement@gmail.com
Phone: +43 664 342 92 73
For additional information or bookings:

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