James Shearman is widely recognized as a premier British conductor and orchestrator who has contributed to the scores of over 90 feature films including Aladdin (Disney), Beauty and the Beast (Disney), Manchester by the Sea (Amazon), Cinderella (Disney), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (FOX), Brave (Pixar), Bridget Jones’s Diary (Working Title), Thor (Marvel), Shakespeare in Love (Universal), Gosford Park (Capitol), Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Warner Bros).
Today, in addition to his work in film soundtracks, Shearman regularly performs in the concert hall, conducting both film and concert music with some of the worlds leading orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, ORF Vienna Radio Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. His musical versatility and informal style make him sought after by both orchestra and audience, with an eclectic concert repertoire that includes film music, pop, classical, musical theatre and opera.
Shearman was born in England. He studied composition and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he won two composition prizes. In his final year of studies, as part of the Academy’s annual music festival, Shearman was commissioned to compose a piece honouring the career of legendary film composer John Williams. The piece was premiered as part of the British Film Festival 1996 to John Williams himself, who was impressed with the composition and it’s accomplished orchestration. Shearman has since orchestrated and/or conducted for many of Hollywood’s Academy Award winning and/or nominated composers including Elliot Goldenthal, Mark Isham, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Alan Menken, John Powell, Gabriel Yared, Hans Zimmer, and most notably Patrick Doyle, whom he has a particularly long standing and successful collaboration.
Recent concert highlights of 2019 include conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir for John Williams’s Music from the Star Wars Saga.
Recent Film highlights include Orchestrating Alan Menken’s score for Aladdin (Disney 2019).
Shearman is also a composer who has written film scores, concert music, an original musical and several Gold and Platinum album selling classical cross-over songs. He co-wrote the U.S. platinum selling song Dream a Dream (Sony Classical) recorded by Charlotte Church, which sold over 1.6 million copies in the U.S alone.
In 2015 Shearman was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, awarded to former Academy students who have distinguished themselves within the music profession. He resides in London, UK.