James D. Hicks lives and works out of Bernardsville, NJ, USA, and holds degrees in music from the Peabody Institute of Music, Yale University, and the University of Cincinnati. Other studies include instruction at the Royal School of Church Music in England. He is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists. Hicks held liturgical positions throughout the eastern United States, and in 2011 retired after twenty‐six years of service at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey.
James has performed throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Most recently, he appeared as a soloist at the 2016 Åland Orgel Festival, Mariehamn, Finland. Other performances include a concert devoted exclusively to works that Hicks has commissioned at the 2015 Organo Novo Festival in Helsinki, Finland. In the summer of 2015, he participated in The International Organ Summer, held at the Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland, and as a part of Summartónar in the Faroe Islands. James was a featured guest on Pipedreams, a nationally syndicated broadcast devoted to the music of the pipe organ in 2014. Michael Barone, the host of Pipedreams devoted the entirety of this program (Pipedreams # 1438) to James’ Nordic Journey series. In July 2013 he performed in several organ series in Finland, including the Helsinki Organ Summer and the Turku Summer Festival. He played for Swedish National Radio in March 2012, a broadcast that included world premieres of several modern works from that country.
James has recorded seven collections of organ music on the American Pro Organo label. The first, 2003’s American Classic, highlights the rebuilt Austin organ at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey, and contains many recorded premieres of twentieth and twenty‐first century American works, including two original compositions. Over the past seven years, Hicks has recorded six volumes spanning nine discs in an ongoing project entitled Nordic Journey. The series seeks to create new repertoire from Nordic lands (seventeen commissioned works thus far), rediscover unpublished and/or forgotten works from the twentieth century, and, finally, include a few of the standard masterworks. Many of the selections to appear on Nordic Journey do so in premiere recordings. During this time, James has recorded throughout Sweden and Finland on historic instruments, including Linköping Cathedral, St. Johannes, Malmö, Skara Cathedral, Västerås Cathedral, Kalmar Cathedral, St. Michael’s Church, Turku, and Turku Cathedral. Future volumes are in the planning stages, utilizing locations in Norway and Iceland during 2017 and 2018.
A new endeavor for James as of 2016 is a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, juxtaposing his interests in music, Nordic culture and nature. Please visit www.hicksnordichike.com to learn about this two-year journey, culminating in James’ proposed 2018 hike of the St. Olav’s pilgrimage path (Pilegrimsleden) in Sweden and Norway.