James Perretta is a Boston-based viola da gamba player and cellist who is active as a small ensemble director, teacher, and performer. James co-directs and performs with Lyracle, an ensemble dedicated to music for voice and viol-family instruments. As part of Lyracle's current mission to bring attention to the largely forgotten practice of accompanying a solo voice with a single viol, James arranges polyphonic madrigals for voice and viol, synergizing his facility on the viol with his knowledge of 16th and 17th century counterpoint. An avid arranger, James is active on TikTok and YouTube where he records his own arrangements of video game music for solo viol or viol consort. James enjoys working on projects that span multiple genres and explore the use of extended techniques on the viol. While attending the Silkroad Ensemble's 2022 Global Musician Workshop, he was selected to teach a participant-led elective on Renaissance and Baroque improvisation.
James teaches private lessons, group classes, and workshops online and at the Powers Music School in Belmont, MA and will be on faculty at the 2023 Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. James has worked with students ranging from a wide range of backgrounds: beginner to advanced, enthusiasts and those with professional aspirations, and elementary schoolers to adults. James has performed with ensembles such as the Boston Camerata, Nota Bene viol consort, and Boston-based viol consort Long and Away. James also serves on the Website Committee for the Viola da Gamba Society of America and is a board member of the New England chapter of the Viola da Gamba Society. James holds a B.M. in Cello Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied modern cello with Richard Aaron and Baroque cello and viola da gamba with Enid Sutherland. James also holds a M.S. in Computer Science from U of M and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Northeastern University, hoping to pursue a dual-career as a musician and Computer Science teacher.