Conductor - Coach - Accompanist - Arranger

Welcome to the Jim Holmes site

Equally at home in the worlds of opera and musical theatre, he enjoys a strikingly varied career. Extended experience in two of Britain's major opera houses – English National Opera and Opera North – and elsewhere has seen him conduct a wide-ranging repertoire, act as coach and accompanist to many leading singers, and work with numerous distinguished conductors – notably on eight productions with Sir Simon Rattle. He has also been invited to major international houses such as Glyndebourne and the Metropolitan Opera, New York as well as international festivals such as Salzburg and  Aix-en-Provence. He has frequently broadcast on both radio and TV and contributed to many commercial recordings.


At the same time he has acquired a reputation as an advocate of American musical theatre with major productions of works by Stephen Sondheim, Gershwin and Rodgers and Hammerstein among others, in his repertoire - and this has also seen him develop a new strand to his career, as an arranger. His growing body of work in this field includes material for a wide range of performers, from small ensemble to full orchestra, and from individual songs to complete theatre pieces.


He has become particularly associated with the music of Kurt Weill: as one of the most experienced and wide-ranging interpreters of Weill in the world, he counts a number of major premières and recordings among his many credits. He is 2013 artist-in-residence at the international Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, and a regular jury member for the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition. In 2012 he was invited to join the Board of Trustees of the Kurt Weill Foundation, New York.



James Holmes

Photo © Janet Penny, Tonbridge