"A very special, a very beautiful sound..."
Jury, International Schubert Competition
"Exquisitely detailed playing..."
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James Longford is a pianist, organist and vocal coach based on the beautiful Isle of Wight, on the UK’s south coast.
James became interested in music at a very early age, singing and playing in choirs, concert band and orchestra. He went on to study piano, organ, accompaniment and chamber music at the Royal College of Music with John Blakely, Yonty Solomon, Nicholas Danby and Margaret Phillips, as well as holding the organ scholarship at St.Martin-in-the-Fields, and was generously supported by the Countess of Munster Trust. In 2000 he was awarded the College’s prestigious Tagore Gold Medal and went on to hold a two-year Junior Fellowship, specialising in keyboard accompaniment.
In 2008 James held a scholarship-supported Creative Artist Residency at the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, studying with Jerome Lowenthal and Lambert Orkis, and giving several acclaimed concerts. He is a laureate of several major competitions, winning 2nd prize and the Rachmaninov Award in the 2007 IBLA Grand Prize, 3rd place in the 14th International Schubert Competition, and a semi-finalist in the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition in Miami, Florida.
James was delighted to be selected as a Steinway Artist in 2014.
He enjoys a wide-ranging career as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist, and enjoys programming unusual and entertaining works, as well as new music. In 2012 he founded the Galos Piano Trio, who were recently ensemble-in-residence for an award-winning project for young composers in west Wales. Their second disc of music by Clara Schumann and her female contemporaries Agnes Zimmermann and Louise Lebeau is released later this year. James was a founder member of the groundbreaking ensemble Southbank Sinfonia, and has regularly performed as soloist with them in concertos by Beethoven, Mozart and Poulenc in the UK and at the Anghiari Festival.
James works regularly with a number of organisations – Royal Opera House & Royal Ballet, English National Opera, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus, London Concert Choir, Kokoro, Synergy Vocals, Heritage Orchestra, Royal Marines School of Music, Birmingham Opera Company and Garsington Opera – and for Hochschüle für Musik Weimar, Bregenzer Festspiele, Aix-en-Provence Festival and Israel Festival. Closer to home, he is a passionate educator and works with a number of local choirs, music festivals, universities and education projects in the south of England.