Heralded for performances of “spectacular musicianship” and “technical brilliance” (The Scotsman), “evangelizing urgency” (International Record Review) and “freshness and lucidity” (The Herald), James Willshire performs internationally as soloist and chamber musician. His programme forms part of a project to perform the complete cycle of Debussy’s solo piano works in 2018; the 100th anniversary of his death. Throughour the cycle, James juxtaposes works from the early and late phases of Debussy’s works, and from his most famous and lesser-known repertoire.
Jamese appears regularly at the major UK concert halls, including The Bridgewater Hall, Barbican, Glasgow City Halls, and Royal Festival Hall, and has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. His recordings of contemporary British piano music have been reviewed extensively, receiving universal acclaim.
A regular performer of contemporary music, James has given world premiere performances of works by Ronald Stevenson, John McLeod, Rory Boyle, Jay Capperauld, Euan Ferguson and Richard Greer. James’s debut recording on Delphian Records featured the complete piano music by 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. The CD was 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 included articles in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, 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.
James maintains a strong interest in music education and teaches the piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Mary’s Music School.