We are accepting applications for boarding and day places for Autumn 2020 entry. 

If you would like to find out more, including information about the Aided Places Scheme, please email admissions@st-marys-music-school.co.uk




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






Instrumental Learning

Choir School

Saturday Music Classes


St Mary’s Music School is one of the nine specialist Music and Dance Schools the UK (and the only one in Scotland)  funded by the UK Government and providing the finest training in Britain. It is a co-educational, non-denominational specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally. 

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St Mary's Music School Trust Ltd, Registered No: 54504
St Mary's Music School Trust Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.