Born in California, James Reynolds currently lives in Berlin. He studied contemporary music with John Adams, as well as percussion at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and composition in Cologne under Michael von Biel. Reynolds was Composer in Residence at the Laurenz Haus Foundation Basel (2004) and Visiting Artist at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2009). 


After teaching Master classes at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen and playing percussion on and off-Broadway (and as band member of The Units) in the 80s in New York, Reynolds took up his long-term working relationship with the Cologne-based broadcasting institution WDR. For over two decades, he has written music for literary productions, thrillers, fairytales, and children’s radio plays for the broadcaster. Reynolds’ compositions explore the combination of words, sounds, and images – in film music as well as in his work for the theatre.

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Reynolds works with neat thriller effects in the violins, for example, that brings to mind Bernard Herrmann’s music to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. 

-Bonner General-Anzeiger

if you want to make opera accessible to new audiences: quality... The powerful orchestra is the fitting medium for Reynold’s colorful and effective music....


His Broadway experience is just as audible as his familiarity with electro- or synthpop and naturally classical compositional technique.

-Die Deutsche Bühne