Christopher James (1952-2008) was born in Harare, Zimbabwe 1952. His father ran several farms in former Southern Rhodesia. Although he studied the clarinet and piano from a young age, on leaving school he entered a career in chartered accountancy. This career was short-lived and on turning twenty-one he embarked on a musical career. He immigrated to South Africa in 1974 to study music at the University of Pretoria where he studied composition with Stefans Grové and organ with Stephanus Zondagh. During these years he won a number of prizes and scholarships and in 1978 he obtained a teaching position in the Department of Musicology at the University of South Africa. After completing his Masters degree he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for doctoral studies in the United States of America. During the years 1983 to 1985 he furthered his studies at the University of Cincinnati where he studied composition, musicology and music theory with leading American teachers. During this period, much of his work was performed and some of it was broadcast on American public radio. Since his return to South Africa in 1985, he displayed a growing interest in African music. His doctoral dissertation, Images from Africa, was a choral symphony which made use of African poets. The music combined African melodic and rhythmic features with the contemporary European musical tradition. It was completed in 1987 and in 1989 Christopher James was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts. James was the recipient of the Forte composition prize as well as the Roodepoort International Eisteddfod composition prize. In 1993-1994 he orchestrated the original version of Ushaka, and in recent years wrote two piano concertos and a symphonic poem, Paradise Regained. His most recent work is a four movement cello concerto.

Recent Submissions

  • Dialogue for violin and cello 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008 (1985-02)
  • Transformations for solo flute 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008 (1995)
  • Soliloquy for double bass 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008 (2006)
  • Moonlit waters and cloudy, cloudy skies 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Dedicated to Meyer H. Ernst. 'Duration: 6' 39"'.
  • Moonlit waters and cloudy, cloudy skies 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Dedicated to Meyer H. Ernst. 'Completed 17/01/2007. Duration: Approx 7' 15"'.
  • Illuminations : a song cycle of Pamela van Schaik's poetry for mezzo-soprano and piano 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Manuscript. Contains letter from Christopher James to Pamela van Schaik. "C.L. James collaborated with Pamela van Schaik on a number of works. [...]. Other works that he collaborated with her was 'Cosmic Horizons' and ...
  • This dark ceiling without a star : a septet in four movements on a poem by Sylvia Plath 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Sketches. 1. Event -- 2. Apprehensions -- 3. Child -- 4. By candlelight.
  • This dark ceiling without a star : a Sylvia Plath song cycle for mezzo soprano and six instruments 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Score. Dedicated to Augustina. 1. Event -- 2. Apprehensions -- 3. Child -- 4. By candlelight.
  • Serenade Celeste 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
  • Gymnastics 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Revision of last 30 bars of Gymnastics.
  • Gymnastics (Notes) 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Notes containing corrections. 'Gymnastics revisions'.
  • Gymnastics 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Score. Revised.
  • Gymnastics 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
  • Gymnastics 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    First movement (Allegro molto). Revised, with conductor's notes. 'Dedicated to Stefans Grové'.
  • From infinity to eternity 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    For solo violin (and/or, solo viola). 'Dedicated to Professor Walter Mony'. Includes violin and viola parts.
  • Songs of lamentation and remonstration 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Manuscript. Includes programme notes and texts of poems. Words like freedom / Langston Hughes -- Full moon / Robert Hayden -- Where? When? Which? / Langston Hughes -- From the dark tower / Countee Cullen -- The paganisms ...
  • Four portraits 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Manuscript. 1. Largo Calmato - molto doloroso e sospirando -- 2. Molto giocoso e vivacissimo -- 3. Molto apassionato -- 4. Allegro furioso - appasionato - scherzando - calmato. 'Dedicated to J.C. Coetzee'.
  • Four portraits 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Sketches. 1. Largo Calmato - molto doloroso e sospirando -- 2. Molto giocoso e vivacissimo -- 3. Molto apassionato -- 4. Allegro furioso - appasionato - scherzando - calmato. 'Dedicated to J.C. Coetzee'.
  • Grahamstown buzz : septet in three movements 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Manuscript copy. 'Double Ten-pan [tin pan], Sep-sax, as sax, Piano, Electric organ, Guitar, Base guitar [bass guitar], Percussion: three congas, four bongos, one cloves, maracas, gong, susp, cymb, tamb.'
  • WB Yeats song cycle : the lake isle of Innisfree 

    James, Christopher Langford, 1952-2008
    Manuscript book. Contents: The lake isle of Innisfree -- Heilige Nag, vir vierstemmige koor -- Intermezzo, for pianoforte -- Amoeba, for pianoforte -- I bagatelle for harp (Andante e dolcissimo, dedicated to Kobie Odendaal) ...

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