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William G. James (1892-1977) : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Australian Christmas carols (satb choir with soloists and orchestra) by William G. James, from the CD Christmas gift

Photo of William G. James

Born in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1895, William James studied in Melbourne at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium between about 1911 and 1913. In 1914 he went to London to further his piano studies, during which time he studied with Arthur De Greet and composed several works, including Six Australian Bush Songs.

James gave up a distinguished concert career to become one of the pioneers of music broadcasting in Australia. He was the first federal director of music for the ABC (1931-1957), giving continuous encouragement to young Australian musicians. It was during his tenure that the ABC formed orchestras in each state.

William James died in 1977. He is best known for his Australian Christmas Carols, although the catalogue of his compositions includes many other works for voice, choir, and piano.

Analysis & Media

- Review: The Song Company Songs Signs and Stars 2 December 2004

- Photo Letter to John Antill from ABC 28 May 1945