Mr James Hewitt MISM

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Professional activities

Composer/music writer

Performer (instrumentalist)

  • Violin



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James Hewitt, active in both early and contemporary music, is becoming well known for his engaging personal style and improvisatory prowess.

He performs throughout Europe, both solo and in baroque ensembles The Northern Consort, Les Oiseaux Reunis (programmes inspired by birdsong), and Contrasto Armonico, with whom he has participated in several recordings and is associated with an extended project to record all of Handel's Italian cantatas. The Scroll ensemble, featured in the Leipzig Improvisation Festival 2011, explores improvisation practices of the Renaissance and Baroque.

He works with improvisation ensembles the Royal Improvisers Orchestra (conducted improvisation), Hewitt/Baggiani Duo (improvisation with violin and drums), DAMU (music and dance improvisation), and in the Klingon Opera U premiered in Zeebelt Theatre The Hague 2010, in which he plays a new instrument, Tin Dach. On this instrument, similar to a rebab, he also plays modal and Gregorian chant improvisations.

As a composer, his oevre includes works for Cambridge University Opera Society (Moses and Pharaoh), Ely Cathedral Choir, the Nieuw Ensemble, Modello Ensemble, and the Fokker Organ in Amsterdam Muziekgebauw aan't Ij. He has received performances at the Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and during the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in Amsterdam. His music will increasingly become available from Parklaan Publications on Tutti Music (

He read music at Girton College, Cambridge, and then went to the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, where he studied baroque violin with Pavlo Beznosiuk, and composition with Martijn Padding, Cornelis de Bondt and Guus Janssen. He completed his masters there with research in improvised counterpoint.

James Hewitt- Bulgarian Etude

James Hewitt performs his Bulgarian Etude, a fast virtuoso caprice with constant sixteenth notes in irregular groupings.

Bulgarian Rhapsody

The Hewitt/Baggiani Duo performs an improvisation piece for violin and drums using irregular 'bulgarian' rhythms.

Biagio Marini - Passacalio

Contrasto Armonico Live concert in Schiedam 30/09/2011 Strümphler Festival 2011 Huis te Poort, Schiedam (The Netherlands)

  • baroque violinist, composer
    James Hewitt
    James Hewitt
  • 18th Century music inspired by birdsong and pastoral elements
    Les Oisseux Réunis
    Les Oisseux Réunis
  • Improvisations of the Renaissance and Baroque
    Scroll Ensemble
    Scroll Ensemble

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