James Hayward was born in Preston, Lancashire, north of the Ribble. A passion for classical music grew in his late teens and he took extra-mural lessons in the Music Department while reading Psychology at Reading University. Finding his capability as a composer in his early twenties he studied composition privately with Fabian Watkinson in London in the 1980s and later developed skills in computerised sequencing and scoring of music.
He moved back to the NorthWest from London in 1998 and has sinced lived in Arnside with a fine view of the Lake District fells. Composing music is an essential activity complementing his main career which has been in the area of information systems management and research in education and health care. Since joining the Lakeland Composers he has presented a number of works for small ensembles some which derive from his appreciation of the Lake District and North Country.