Active in both early and contemporary music, James Hewitt is becoming well known for his engaging personal style and improvisatory prowess.
James Hewitt performs throughout Europe, both solo and in ensembles including Contrasto Armonico, the Northern Consort, Les Oiseaux Reunis (programmes inspired by birdsong) and the Scroll Ensemble, which specialises in programmes inspired by improvisatory practices of the baroque and was featured in Leipzig Improvisation Festival 2011. He has participated in several recordings with Contrasto Armonico, associated with an extended project to record all of Handel's Italian Cantatas, and has broadcast on Dutch Radio 4 with Les Oiseaux Reunis.
He also works with improvisation ensembles the Royal Improviser’s Orchestra (conducted improvisation), the Hewitt/ Baggiani Duo (improvising ensemble with violin and percussion), and DAMU (music/dance improvisation), and in the Klingon Opera U, in which he plays a newly made instrument, tin dach. On this instrument, similar to a rebab, he also performs modal improvisation and gregorian chant.
As a composer, his ouvre includes works for Cambridge University Opera Society (Moses and Pharaoh), Ely Cathedral Choir, the Nieuw Ensemble, Modello Ensemble, and the Fokker Organ in Amsterdam Muziekgebauw aan't IJ.
He has received performances at the Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and during the Gaudeamus Interpreter's Competition in Amsterdam. His works will increasingly become available from Parklaan Publications on Tutti Music.
He read music at Girton College, Cambridge, and then went to the the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, where he studied baroque violin with Pavlo Beznosiuk, and composition with Martijn Padding, Cornelis de Bondt and Guus Janssen. He completed his masters there with research in improvised counterpoint.