James Fortune has built a professional music career since 2002 as woodwind examiner for AMEB (NSW), teacher, tutor and performer. His first orchestra experiences were gained in the SydneyYouth Orchestra and other training programs, community orchestras and through Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he gained a Master of Performance and Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours. Following entry into the Sydney Sinfonia program in 2003 he became a much-in-demand freelance ute and piccolo player, travelling to China for a tour with Macao Orchestra, as guest principal ute of Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, as a contract player with Queensland Symphony Orchestra and as regular casual with Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Most of his performing work has been with Opera Australia Orchestra, playing as Guest Associate Principal Flute for The Australian Ballet and Principal Piccolo for opera seasons. He has played for each of the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour seasons often in a first flute capacity. He also enjoys playing for recording sessions, with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and recently with Sydney Omega Ensemble at City Recital Hall Angel Place. James has been an adjudicator for this Eisteddfod since 2011.