“It took all of about two bars to be utterly entranced.” The Herald
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. He 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. James’s recordings of contemporary British piano music have been reviewed extensively, receiving universal acclaim.
Festival appearances include performances given by James at the 2015 The Piano Festival at Glasgow Royal Concert Halls, the Lichfield, Cheltenham and Winchester Festivals, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Cantilena Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, the Roman River Festival, ‘Il Festival di Londra’, the Victoria International Arts Festival and the Paxos International Festival.
A regular performer of contemporary music, James has given world premiere performances of works by Ronald Stevenson, John McLeod and Rory Boyle. 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.
Future projects include performances at the Bridgewater Hall, with the Willshire Duo, a visit to St. Andrew’s University, and recording the music for clarinet and piano, and clarinet trio, by Rory Boyle with Trio Dramatis.
James maintains a strong interest in music education and teaches the piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Mary’s Music School.