William James is Principal Percussion of the St. Louis Symphony. He won the position at the age of 25 and is still one of the youngest principal percussionists in the country. Prior to moving to St. Louis, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. He graduated from the New England Conservatory in 2006 with a Masters of Music as a student of Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Northwestern University in 2004. While attending Northwestern he studied with Michael Burritt, an active soloist and clinician around the country, and James Ross, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
James has played with many outstanding ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, and Chautauqua Festival Orchestra. In addition to his experience as an orchestral player he has performed several solo recitals across the country, as well as soloing with the St. Louis Symphony and New World Symphony. He has also continued a career as a chamber musician in St. Louis. He is a regular artist with the Pulitzer Foundation Chamber Music Series and plays in a percussion and piano duo with Peter Henderson. James is in demand as an educator as well, giving masterclasses across the country at numerous colleges and universities. He is very involved with the Percussive Arts Society, having been published in their magazine, presented at the International Convention in 2010, and currently serving on the Symphonic Committee. In all of these musical endeavors James proudly uses Zildjian Cymbals, Malletech Sticks and Instruments, and Grover Percussion Products.