James Erber was born in London in 1951. Having gained music degrees at the Universities of Sussex and Nottingham he studied with Brian Ferneyhough at the Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg-im-Breisgau between 1981 and 82.
James Erber's music has been widely performed and broadcast. It includes Epitomaria-Glosaria-Commentaria for 25 solo strings (1981-84), the Traces cycle for solo flute (1991-2006), the string quartet An Allegory of Exile (1992-94), Das Buch Bahir (2004-05) for 9 instruments, The Death of the Kings (2007) for 11 instruments and Mox Nox (2009) for 5 instruments.
Ian Pace's recording of you done torn your playhouse down (1996) for piano and Kate Romano's recording of Strange Moments of Intimacy (1999-2001) for clarinet are currently available on CD. A recording by Frank Cox of le colonne d'Ercole (1996) for solo cello will soon be released on the Centaur label.