Jim Clements studied music at Manchester University, where he established and directed the close-harmony groups The Merrell Barbershop Quartet and The Goo Dats. During this time he wrote his first a cappella arrangements, some of which were commissioned by Voces8, with whom he is now Arranger in Residence. From 2005 to 2008 Clements was a Lay Clerk in Worcester Cathedral Choir, who premiered several of his works. He has had arrangements commissioned by the BBC and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. As well as composing and arranging, Clements is a member of The Edinburgh Camerata, Stile Antico and the Philharmonia Voices, and a Lay Clerk at Southwark Cathedral.
Born into a family of musicians, Jim began both writing and performing music at a young age; the choir of Rochester Cathedral premièred his first choral composition in 1995 whilst he sang there as a treble chorister, aged just twelve. A decade later, he received his first formal lessons in composition from Camden Reeves and Philip Grange whilst reading music at Manchester University, having held choral and music scholarships at Tonbridge School in between.
Shortly before graduating with a first-class degree in 2005, Jim was approached by a fledgling vocal ensemble, VOCES8, with a view to writing a few bespoke a cappella arrangements; two years and several commissions later, VOCES8 appointed Jim its Arranger in Residence, and has since performed more than fifty of his arrangements in over five hundred concerts across the globe, and recorded them for posterity on seven CDs, resulting in nominations for three CARA awards.
Jim has also written vocal arrangements for numerous other consort groups, including the Gabrieli Consort and The King’s Singers, artists as diverse as Tom Jones and Tim Minchin, and orchestral arrangements for the RLPO (Plain Sailing), The BBC (Radio 3), and Tim Minchin (& The Heritage Orchestra).
In addition to writing, Jim continues to sing as a consort tenor. He is a member of the GRAMMY-nominated early music ensemble, Stile Antico, and performs with various chamber choirs including the BBC Singers, Cambridge Singers, Dmitri Ensemble, Ex Cathedra, Musica Beata, and Philharmonia Voices.
Given his particular interest in vocal music, it is unsurprising that the majority of Jim’s original compositions are choral and usually written with one of the choirs in which he sings in mind; both Worcester and Southwark Cathedrals were left with additions to their libraries following Jim’s tenure as a lay clerk. He enjoys writing for both small and large-scale choirs, from consort pieces for solo voices to anthems for double choir and organ, and setting both sacred and secular texts. Current commissions include three songs for children’s voices and piano to partner Britten’s Friday Afternoons, for performance on what would have been his hundredth birthday: St. Cecilia’s day, 2013.