The orchestral music of James Ledger is well known to Australian concert-goers. His first work in the genre, Indian Pacific from 1996 is still regularly performed around Australia.
Since then, Ledger has been resident with many orchestras and institutions including the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand) and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Between 2007 and 2009 he was the composer-in-residence with his home orchestra - the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Ledger has written much instrumental music and "has established an impressive reputation as a symphonic composer" (The Australian). Ledger has also received commissions from Australia’s leading chamber ensembles including the Australian String Quartet for whom he wrote Processions which The Australian described as "a triumph".
In 2011, Chronicles was awarded Orchestral Work of the Year in the Australasian Performing Rights Association/Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards. The Monthly Magazine listed the same work as one of 20 Australian Masterpieces since 2000, describing it as "a piece of emotional extremes in which everything is in balance".
James Ledger studied French horn at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In 2008, he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research contemporary compositional practice with a particular focus on new music in Estonia. He is currently lecturer in composition at the University of Western Australia. In 2011 he was the composer-in-residence at the Australian National Academy of Music.
Ledger recently collaborated with singer-songwriter Paul Kelly on a large scale song-cycle, Conversations with Ghosts. This work was performed in 2012 and has further performances this year. 2013 also sees the premiere of a new violin concerto and Ledger as composer-in-residence at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville.