James Willshire appears as concerto soloist, solo recitalist and chamber musician throughout the UK and abroad. He has performed a wide-ranging concerto repertoire with orchestras including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Ensemble of London, and collaborated with conductors Benjamin Zander and Michael Christie. He has given solo recitals at concert halls and festivals throughout the UK, Europe, Russia, Australia, South Africa, the US and has toured India three times.
At the age of fifteen James was awarded an Educational Scholarship in the 2000 London International Piano Competition, the youngest British pianist to receive the award. He has won a great many scholarships including the Julius Isserlis Scholarship, the MBF Myra Hess Award, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and The Martin Musical Scholarship. In 2005 James won the Liszt Prize and the McCullum Prize for the most Promising Young Pianist in the Royal Overseas League Competition. He was awarded first prize in the Piano section of the 2006 Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition and was also a prize-winner in the 2007 Scottish International Piano Competition. In 2008 he was a winner of the Making Music Philip and Dorothy Green Award and in the same year was sixth in the Maria Canals International Piano Competition.
James has performed at many festivals throughout the UK and abroad, including 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 Glasgow Festival of Youth Orchestras where he appeared as guest soloist and the Paxos International Festival. He has given concerts in the Bridgewater, Barbican, and Royal Festival Hall, where 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 has recently released his debut recording of the complete piano works by the Scottish composer Rory Boyle for Delphian Records to critical acclaim, receiving a 5 star review from the Scotsman. Future recording commitments include a double-disk recording of the piano music by Ronald Stevenson.
James is passionate about teaching and currently teaches in the Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.