2024 AFSF Opportunity Award recipient.

James Birch, an Australian/British violinist, was born in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, to an English father and a Chinese mother. He began playing the violin at the age of four and a half and the piano at five. In 2020, he relocated to England with his family to further his musical studies.
James is currently a full-time student and Kohl Scholar at the Colburn Music Academy, studying under Robert Lipsett.
While in England, he was awarded an exceptional scholarship to the Junior Guildhall School of Music & Drama. There, he studied under the renowned Professor David Takeno, becoming his youngest student. He also received tutelage from So-Ock Kim of the Royal Academy of Music, Simon Blendis, and gained mentorship from Nicola Benedetti, Rachel Podger, and Shlomo Mintz.
In Australia, he was a scholar in the Rising Stars program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he studied under Dr. Evgeny Sorkin and was mentored by Simon James.
He made his first orchestral solo debut at age twelve, performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Reddam Philharmonic Orchestra, and debuted in America with The Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra, MUSE/IQUE, the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra and the SoCalPhil orchestra. He has also been regularly invited to perform at recitals held at St. Mary’s Perivale UK, as their youngest ever soloist. He was also invited for a recital by Salon De Virtuosi in New York in December 2023. An avid chamber musician, James has participated in the Fischoff chamber music competition in a string quartet, and a piano quartet.
His accolades include numerous prestigious scholarships and awards such as the New Horizons Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival, full scholarships for the Sounding Point Academy, Music Works Chamber Summer Camp, and the Perlman Music Program of 2024.
His competition successes include, First Prize at the 2020 London Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, the New Talent Award at the 2021 British International Youth Music Competition & Festival, First Prize Winner at the 2022 ISA Young Musician of the Year, the Hattori Foundation Junior Award Winner for 2022, 2023 and 2024 and 1st Prize in the SoCalPhil Young Artist Solo Competition. He has also been awarded the Arkady Fomin Scholarship Opportunity Awa