James Willshire

Heralded as a ‘fabulous technician’ with ‘torrential virtuosity’, James Willshire has enthralled audiences in five continents with performances of ‘freshness and lucidity’, with ‘clarity and sensitivity of touch’ and ‘bravura technique’. His recordings of contemporary British solo piano music have received universal acclaim, being reviewed extensively internationally and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

At the age of fifteen James was awarded an Educational Scholarship in the 2000 London International Piano Competition, the youngest British pianist to be thus recognised. Festival performances include concerts at the Lichfield, Cheltenham and Winchester Festivals, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Cantilena Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, the Roman River Festival, ‘Il Festival di Londra’ in Italy where he gave the opening recital, the Victoria International Arts Festival and the Paxos International Festival.  He has given concerts at all the major UK venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Barbican, Glasgow City Halls, and Royal Festival Hall, at which last he gave his debut recital in 2008. Broadcasts include live performances on the Performance Channel and Indian National Radio and appearances on British and Irish Television.

A regular performer of contemporary music, James’s debut recording on Delphian Records featured the complete piano music of the Scottish composer Rory Boyle; it was released in 2011 to critical acclaim, including a five-star review from The Scotsman. In October 2013 his recording of piano music by Ronald Stevenson was released; it has since been reviewed by BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, received a five-star review in Classical Music magazine, and was awarded an IRR Outstanding by International Record Review. Other press interest for the recording includes articles in The Scotsman, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Sinfini Music, The Arts Desk and MusicWeb International.

His recording of piano music by David Jennings was chosen as one of MusicWeb International’s Recordings of the Year 2013. In 2015 James’s performances of John McLeod’s piano concerto received five-star reviews from the Herald Scotland and the Scotsman newspapers.

James maintains a strong interest in music education and teaches the piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Mary’s Music School.

James Willshire


BMus Hons, MMus