I am active as a conductor and musical director, mostly of new and experimental music and early vocal repertoire.

Photograph of James Weeks, conductingEXAUDI

In 2002 I founded the vocal ensemble EXAUDI with the soprano Juliet Fraser. I have been the group’s Artistic Director and conductor throughout its existence and since 2015 have also served as Executive Director/Ensemble Manager.

EXAUDI is now widely regarded as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles for new music. Our work has taken us across Europe, including many of the most prestigious contemporary music platforms. We have given hundreds of world premieres, worked with dozens of emerging composers and made 17 CDs of composers from Gesualdo to Finnissy.

See EXAUDI’s website for detailed information and current projects/performances, as well as a list of our recordings.

Guest conducting

I work regularly as a guest conductor, and have directed ensembles and orchestras including:

  • Royal Northern Sinfonia
  • BBC Singers
  • BBC SSO (Wolff Ordinary Matter, with Ilan Volkov)
  • musikFabrik (Rihm Vigilia)
  • L’Instant Donné (Billone Mani.Long, Pesson Trois Cantates)
  • Talea
  • London Sinfonietta
  • Meitar
  • BCMG (Skempton Chamber Concerto)
Photograph of James Weeks with Sarah Connolly

with Dame Sarah Connolly, Gateshead, 2022

Previous appointments

Work with amateur musicians

I am strongly committed to working with amateur musicians as well as my work with professional groups.

In new and experimental music I have worked extensively with CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) since 2014, leading summer school courses, workshops and performances, on both vocal and instrumental repertoire, including Wandelweiser, Christian Wolff, James Saunders, Terry Riley, group improvisation and several works of my own written for CoMA forces. As Artistic Director of the CoMA Partsongs project I initiated the commissioning of 12 new works for experimental vocal ensembles and have introduced these pieces in workshops at South Bank Centre (London), Sage Gateshead and Durham University.

In the field of early vocal music I regularly lead workshops for Early Music Fora throughout the UK, covering repertoire such as Lasso, Victoria, Andrea Gabrieli, Schütz and Monteverdi. I have led workshops and courses for NCEM (York), Hawkwood College, Dartington International Summer School and Palladium Musicum (Veneto).