Having recently completed his Honours Bachelor of Music degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, under the direction of Dr. Leslie De'Ath, James Wu has been playing the piano since 2003. Starting piano in China, James studied at the Central Conservatory of China for eight years. In 2014, he moved to Barrie, Ontario, Canada, where he studied piano with Mrs. Nena LaMarre, violin with Dr. Janice LaMarre, and conducting with Mr. Oliver Balaburski. James is currently studying orchestral conducting with Dr. Jessica Kun, working as the assistant conductor of the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, and has served as the assistant conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Laurier Wind Orchestra in the past.
Besides discovering and working on developing his knowledge of the core repertoire of Western Art music, James also enjoys working with modern repertoire like the works of Kenneth Hesketh, Jess Turner, Chen Yi, and many more. Musical theatre being another passion of his, James was the orchestral conductor of “Fame the Musical” when he was only in grade eleven in high school, and the musical director of Once Upon a Mattress with a community theatre group while in the second year of his undergraduate degree. James has also been a member of numerous choirs of different levels throughout his musical career, and has played the role of the piano accompanist when required. As a conductor, James is happiest when he can help the players realize the true potential of their musical and technical abilities, as well as seeing their smiles in both performance and rehearsal.
In 2020, James attended numerous conducting symposium in north America, where he enjoyed having lessons, masterclasses and podium time with a variety of conductors and professors. James has since been working as the video director and editor with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, producing high quality video concerts for the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 seasons online. He enjoys the process of working with all kinds of professional musicians and conductors, as well as the vast variety of genres of music, with hopes to faithfully represent their artistic vision on the big screen. James has also worked as tech support for multiple community ensembles during the pandemic and strives to use his computer knowledge to make musicians lives easier in this new digital era. He believes that this is the best way to keep the Western Art music tradition alive and relevant in the modern society.
Besides music, James enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachel, whom he just married in May 2021.