James Chan is a Hong Kong-born composer currently based in London. He is drawn to delicate and fragile sounds and his music is often direct in its expression. He frequently draws inspiration from other art forms. Recently this included films by Robert Eggers and the work of Alexander McQueen. Virginia Woolf has also been a recurring point of reference.
Chan studied on the 'Joint course' between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied with Gary Carpenter. He completed his Master's degree at the Academy in 2022, studying principally with Edmund Finnis and David Sawer.
In 2016, Chan was a winner in the senior category of the BBC Proms Inspire Competition. Since then, he has worked with ensembles including the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Fellows, Psappha Ensemble and Riot Ensemble, and his music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has also written for the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the Panufnik Composers Scheme in 2019.