James Kirby

As a soloist and chamber musician, James performs regularly throughout the UK and Europe. His recital work includes appearances at major concert series in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Holland, the Czech Republic, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and in the UK at the Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals.

Having studied at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he reached the semi finals of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, he returns to perform in the former Soviet Union every year. Highlights have included performances at the Sakharov Festival in Nizhny Novgorod and the Omsk Festival.

James' orchestral performances include concertos with the Moscow, Khazakh and Belorussian symphony orchestras, the Arad and Oradea philharmonic orchestras in Romania, and the English and Scottish chamber orchestras at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, Birmingham Symphony Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and Astana Opera House.  He has performed both Brahms concertos in Russia and Romania.

A member of the Barbican Piano Trio since 1992, James has performed regularly at the Wigmore Hall, in major UK festivals and concert series, and throughout Europe and the USA. Particular highlights include a performance at Carnegie Recital Hall and many cycles of Beethoven's Complete Piano Trios including one in the Master Concert Series at Wigmore Hall. The Trio’s repertoire consists of over seventy works and their discography includes trios by Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, Rachmaninov and Schnittke.

He has also worked with the Vanburgh Quartet, BBC Singers, Lydia Mordkovitch and the mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, and has made two recordings for Chandos.

James is a dedicated teacher who holds posts at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Royal Holloway and the University of London. He is Artist In Residence at the University of Hull and an Honorary Professor at the Rachmaninov Institute, Tambov, Russia, where he makes frequent visits to perform concertos, give recitals and masterclasses and lead chamber music courses.

James has served on the juries of several international Piano competitions, most recently in Romania, Latvia, Russia and Slovenia. He is in considerable demand for masterclasses and as an adjudicator, and is a member of the ABRSM examining panel, which has taken him all over Europe and the Far East.