Described as a lively conductor with a genuine passion for music, James S. Kahane has been led to conduct first-rate orchestras such as the Finnish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Strings and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, and presently holds the position of Conductor of the Polytech Orchestra in Finland. Aged only 21, he was chosen to be Assistant Conductor to Susanna Mälkki at the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2017-2018 season.
During the previous seasons, James has been invited to the Lucerne Festival Conducting Masterclass (out of more than 360 candidates) with Bernard Haitink, to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in summer, and to the Deutsche Dirigentenpreis 2017 (German Conductors' Awards), where he was one of the 12 competitors to conduct the WDR Sinfonieorchester and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln. In 2018, James has been solicited by Kristjan Järvi to conduct the Baltic Academies Orchestra in Berlin, as part of their first international tour.
Other orchestras he conducted include the Pori Sinfonietta, the Joensuu City Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and the Hurra Barockorkester.