James Bolle (1931-2019) was an American composer born in Evanston, Illinois. Bolle received instrumental training on the violin, viola, and French horn, and studied under students of Nadia Boulanger and Paul Hindemith. He studied at Harvard, Antioch College, and Northwestern, and was a student of French composer Darius Milhaud. Bolle was instrumental in founding numerous musical organizations, the first being The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra at age 15 in 1946.
As a conductor, Bolle founded the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, which he directed for 29 years, and the festival Monadnock Music, which he directed for 42 years. He has also appeared as a guest conductor in the United States, Canada, Israel, Hungary, Russia, and Germany. Bolle has been responsible for several premier operatic performances, including: Lully's Armide, Handel's Lotamo, Schubert's Die Freunden von Salamanka, and Weber's Abu Hassan.
As a composer, Bolle's major works include the opera Oleum Canis, after the story of Ambrose Bierce, five Sinfonies for ensembles, four string quartets, concerti for piano, violin, oboe, and clarinet, several large orchestral and chamber pieces, and a the Christopher Smart Cantata for two sopranos and large ensemble.
Bolle currently resides in Harrisville, New Hampshire with his wife, Jocelyn, who also served as a founding director of Monadnock Music and was central in forming its education program.