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Dr. James Ogburn - Columbus State University

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Columbus State University

headshot of James Ogburn

James Ogburn

Associate Professor

Schwob School of Music


James J. Ogburn (b. 1974) is a US-born composer, conductor, theorist, and educator. He received degrees in Composition & Theory from Central Washington University (B.M., 2004), and the University of Pittsburgh (M.A., 2006 & Ph.D., 2009). As part of his undergraduate studies, he also studied composition at the Academy of Music in Krakow, PL. His former composition teachers include Mathew Rosenblum, Eric Moe, Amy Williams, Marek Choloniewski, Woijcek Widlak, Eric Flesher, and Mark Polishook.

In the past five years, Dr. Ogburn’s music has been featured as part of more than two-dozen festivals and orchestral season programs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Recently, he has been a finalist for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society/ Orion Quartet Commission Competition, the ALIA Musica Pittsburgh/ Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble Commission Competition, and was awarded Third Prize in the American Prize for Composition (Professional/ Orchestral category). In 2013–14, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra awarded him the first “Composer-in-Residence,” for which he composed five works during the ensemble’s Ninth Season.

In his research and writings he often focuses on contemporary music and composition. In the past, he wrote a series of essays pertaining to the history of and approaches to composition. He also served as the Principal Researcher for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra for four seasons. He is currently completing an extended work on form in the Common Practice, a set of composition etudes, and analyses of central/ peripheral European composers.

As a specialist in contemporary repertoire, Dr. Ogburn has appeared as a guest conductor with several ensembles and orchestras. He founded & co-founded three ensembles dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. He has also led resident ensemble performances at international festivals, including the Thailand International Composition Festival, The Thailand Brass and Percussion Festival, and TubaMania.

While living in Thailand (2009–2015), Dr. Ogburn served as Chair of Composition and Theory at Mahidol University College of Music, Artistic Director/ Conductor of Enclave Ensemble, Program Manager of the Thailand International Composition Festival, Project Director of the Young Thai Artist Award, and Principal Researcher for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO).

Currently, Dr. Ogburn is Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University. For more information, please visit:

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