“I have two equal and mutually reinforcing priorities: excellence and accessibility. These drive every decision I make as a conductor and as a musician.”

I believe that the symphony orchestra can provide the most powerful experience we can have through sound. I want the audience to not only feel welcome, but to feel empowered, and to have a visceral, exciting experience. 

Through this music, we can be reminded of the best parts of our humanity, and process emotions and feelings that we can’t otherwise access.



Dame Ethel Smyth, the British composer and suffragette, has long been overlooked and under appreciated. Her opera Der Wald was the first opera by a female composer to be produced at the Metropolitan Opera, in 1903. The second was in 2016.

After creating the official performing edition for Schirmer and performing the North American Premiere of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Prison, Mr. Blachly has been granted exclusive permission to create the first commercial recording of the work.

Please join us as we create a world-class recording of the her final large-scale composition, composed in 1930. For more information about Dame Ethel Smyth and Experiential Orchestra’s plans to record the piece, please click here.

In partnership with The Outrage, EXO to perform excerpts of The Prison at The Phillips Collection October 4th, 2018 at the Phillips After 5.

New Video about EXO's Dame Ethel Smyth recording project here

July 29: James completes three-performance run of Rossini's Barber of Seville at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, New York

June 15: James accepts three year contract extension with Johnstown Symphony Orchestra;
Article here cites 39% increase in season ticket sales under his leadership over two seasons

May 7: James guest conducts Men of the Clarion Music Society in a collaboration with Madonna
for her historic performance at the 2018 Met Gala

April 19: James guest conducted NOVUS NY in Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Foss's Time Cycle, and more. Video here

James conducted the US Premiere of Dame Ethel Smyth's The Prison in Johnstown PA April 7, 2018, part of a remarkable collaboration with the Cecilia Chorus of New York, who performed the same work on May 11, 2018 at Carnegie Hall

EXO presented the first-ever Nutcracker Dance Party in NYC November 30 and December 2

JSO Concert in the Cambria Iron Works Machine Shop garners rave reviews

Letter to the editor about work with JSO here

James to guest conduct Danbury Symphony Messiah 

New JSO Video!

Review of Beethoven 9 here

James to conduct Don Giovanni with Geneva Light Opera July 27, 29, 30

New video about EXO

Rave review for JSO Messiah 

Listen to Mahler 1 by the New York City Summer Mahler Project in 2011

James named 12th Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra (info here)

James named one of six Conducting Fellows at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music

Press for The Dream Unfinished's Sing her name concert 

Rave review for Geneva Light Opera's Die Fledermaus

EXO's Stravinsky Festival photos here and here

Beautiful photos from Johnstown Symphony Orchestra by Judy Crookston here

Vocal Festival at the National Opera Center May 6 & June 10

James to conduct Die Fledermaus with Geneva Light Opera at the gorgeous Smith Opera House July 21, 23, 24

New Facebook page for Experiential Orchestra here

James has signed with William Reinert and Associates. More information here.