Born into a Salvation Army family, James Fountain began playing the cornet at the age of three. With a musical upbringing in the 'brass band world', he held principal cornet positions in the National Youth Brass Band, GUS Band and Grimethorpe Colliery Band, all before the age of 18, when he began studying trumpet at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
While still studying at the Guildhall, under Paul Cosh and Paul Beniston, James was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 20, a position he held for five years before joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Joint Principal Trumpet in February 2020.
As an orchestral musician, James has played as Guest Principal with all the major London orchestras including the London Symphony, BBC Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras, as well as featuring as a soloist on numerous occasions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Other appearances as a soloist have taken James around the world to Australia, Brazil, Canaria, Kuwait, Japan and the USA, as well as regular European trips.
Also in demand In the recording studio, James can be heard performing on film, video game and TV soundtracks including 'Aladdin', 'Battlefield', 'Dumbo', 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Wonder Woman', among many others.
James is a member of the highly acclaimed brass group Septura, and is also a Professor of Trumpet at the Royal College of Music, London.