James Sinclair, Music Director


James Sinclair has served as the Music Director of Orchestra New England since its founding in 1974. His versatility in delivering superb performances in styles ranging from Baroque to pops literature has driven the remarkable success of Orchestra New England.

Maestro Sinclair is currently recording for the Naxos label the complete orchestral music of Charles Ives, an eight-CD project. The first six discs have been released. Naxos is the leading repertoire provider in the recording world; their catalogue comprises more than 150,000 releases. In June 2023 Naxos released his already-acclaimed new recording with Orchestra New England of Ives’s complete Sets for Chamber Orchestra.

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. 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 1999, Yale University Press published Sinclair’s 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.

A native of Washington, DC, James Sinclair earned his bachelor’s degree in music at Indiana University and taught at the University of Hawaii where he earned his master’s degree. He relocated to New Haven in 1972, where he has served as an Assistant Professor and a Visiting Lecturer in Music at Yale University. Sinclair is an Associate Fellow of Berkeley College (Yale) and is married to Sylvia Van Sinderen.

In 1999, Maestro Sinclair was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of New Haven. Recently he was honored with The American Prize National Arts Award for 2023. During 2024, Maestro Sinclair is teaching an Ives course at Yale University.

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(203) 777-4690

Orchestra New England
P.O. Box 200123
New Haven, CT 06520