We were delighted to welcome Makoto James (Max) as our new accompanist in September 2022

Makoto James (born 1996) is an Anglo-Japanese organist and accompanist based in London. He combines a busy freelance career with the role of Assistant Organist at St Michael’s Cornhill in the City of London.

Makoto started his musical life at the age of seven as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral where he began studying the organ with Timothy Wakerell and Jamie McVinnie. He later won a music scholarship to Eton where he studied under David Goode and Elizabeth Burgess.

Makoto then spent two years in France studying the harpsichord and fortepiano with Yasuko Bouvard-Uyama, and received the ‘Prix Vidal’ for his diploma in organ from the Toulouse conservatoire, studying under Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen. During this time he also accompanied award-winning choirs, ‘Les Éléments’ and ‘La Maîtrise de Toulouse’.

Makoto then went up to Christ Church, Oxford as Organ Scholar, where he took a First in Music and he accompanied the Cathedral choir in prestigious venues around the world, including St John’s Smith Square, the Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, and St Thomas’s Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Recent projects include repetiteuring for Figure Ensemble’s performance of Xerxes at Opera Holland Park, performing Passio by Arvo Pärt with the Gesualdo Six, and playing for Charles Jeffrey’s ‘Loverboy’ Catwalk Show at the Battersea Arts Centre, featured in London Men’s Fashion Week.