James Sinclair is among the world’s pre-eminent scholars and champions of the music of Charles Ives. He is the Executive Editor for the Charles Ives Society, supervising the work of Ives scholars throughout the United States. In 1999 Yale University Press published his nearly 800-page A Descriptive Catalogue of the Music of Charles Ives. The Association of American Publishers cited the catalogue as the best publication of 1999 in arts scholarship; ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) gave the book its Deems Taylor Award Special Citation for writing on the arts.
James Sinclair has been the music director of the New Haven (CT)-based Orchestra New England since its founding in 1974. His versatility in delivering superb performances in styles ranging from the Baroque to the pops literature has driven the remarkable success of Orchestra New England.
Sinclair is currently recording for the Naxos label the complete orchestral music of Charles Ives with orchestras in the UK, a forthcoming eight-CD set. Maestro Sinclair has served as music director for four PBS television documentaries including the Peabody Award-winning film about Ives, A Good Dissonance Like a Man.
In August 1996 Sinclair led the American Symphony Orchestra in the Bard College festival of “Charles Ives and His World,” and in October 1996 led the New World Symphony in a birthday concert celebration of Ives’s music. In April 1998 Sinclair produced an Ives Festival at Yale University, conducting Orchestra New England, the Yale Symphony, Yale Band, and large chamber ensembles in the music of Ives, an event attended by many of the country’s major scholars of American music. In October 2001 he led the first “Charles Ives Workshop” on performance practice, presented at Indiana University under the auspices of the Charles Ives Society.
A native of Washington D.C., James Sinclair was educated at Indiana University and taught at the University of Hawaii before locating in New Haven in 1972. He has frequently served as a Visiting Lecturer in Music at Yale University. Sinclair is currently overseeing the John Kirkpatrick Papers and the Charles Ives Papers at Yale and is an Associate Fellow of Berkeley College (Yale). In addition, he serves as a member of the board for the Charles Ives Society and oversees the activities of the Berkeley College Orchestra at Yale.