Three Spires Singers are delighted to welcome James Anderson-Besant as Music Director and are enormously enjoying working with him in his first season with us.





 Born in 1998, James Anderson-Besant grew up in Oxfordshire. He started learning the keyboard at primary school with Judith Ward, who ran the choir at St Helen’s Church, Benson; James joined the choir and later became its organist. He learnt to play the organ with James Brown at Abingdon School, where he held academic and music scholarships.



After taking a gap year as the Organ Scholar of Gloucester Cathedral, which included teaching the first girl choristers in the Cathedral’s history, James then spent four years as Organ Scholar, then Assistant Organist, of St John’s College Cambridge. With the College Choir, he accompanied services, broadcasts, recordings and tours under the direction of Andrew Nethsingha, and helped train the choristers. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and his playing for St John’s appears on many acclaimed CD releases, including Advent Live II, Ash Wednesday, and The Psalms. An organ student of Stephen Farr, James won second prize at the 2019 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition. He graduated in 2020 with a double starred first degree in music, and during the following year supervised Cambridge music students in harmony and keyboard skills. While at university, James organised and directed student performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St John Passion.

From 2021-2023, James was Assistant Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral, where he played the organ for the Cathedral’s services, and assisted Timothy Noon in the training of the choristers and in the choir’s musical rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. He also directed the St Peter’s Singers, the cathedral’s auditioned voluntary choir. 





In 2023, at the age of twenty-four, James was appointed Director of Music and Organist of Truro Cathedral, becoming the youngest cathedral organist in the country. At Truro, James directs the Cathedral Choir in its daily rehearsals and services, and is responsible for all aspects of the Cathedral’s musical output. He is very excited to have the opportunity to direct the wonderful musicians of the Three Spires Singers and Orchestra, and looks forward to widening his knowledge of the major choral and orchestral repertoire in Three Spires’ busy schedule. In his spare time James enjoys walking, exploring Cornwall, and reading about history and engineering.


"I loved rehearsing and performing Rachmaninov's 3rd piano concerto with the Three Spires Orchestra; they are a fantastic orchestra and fully deserved the standing ovation. Chris Gray was a breath of fresh air to work with - he cares so much about the music and about giving the best performance possible. I listened to the Three Spires Singers perform Elgar's 'The Musicmakers' after the interval and was moved to tears. A very memorable concert."
Cordelia Williams

Mobile logo