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Queenswood is an extraordinary place with extraordinary people. It would be our privilege to educate your daughters here.

Queenswood Piano Competition 2017

Monday 9 January 2017

Wednesday 8 February 

Adjudicated byJames Kirby

The competition, now in its eighth year,  is open to all pianists in the school. Entry forms are available from Mrs Paris in the Music Department.

Closing date for entries: Monday 30 January

  • 10.30 am Beginners Class 
  • 1.30 pm Intermediate Class
  • 3.20 pm Advanced Class 
  • Final Concert at 7.00pm in the Ernest Read Hall, followed by a drinks reception and
    presentation of prizes

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 Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals. Having studied at the Moscow Conservatoire (during which time 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. His orchestral performances include concertos with the Moscow, Khazakh and Belorussian Symphony Orchestras, and the Arad and Oradea Philharmonic Orchestras (Romania), and the English and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and Astana Opera House. He has performed both Brahms Concertos in Russia and Romania.

He has been a member of the Barbican Piano Trio since 1992, performing regularly at Wigmore Hall and 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.

James has worked with the Vanburgh Quartet, BBC Singers, Lydia Mordkovitch and the mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly and has made several recordings for Chandos. He is a dedicated teacher and enjoys posts at the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff, Royal Holloway, University of London and is Artist in residence at the University of Hull. He is also 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.

He has served on the Juries of several international Piano competitions, most recently in Romania, Latvia, Russia and Slovenia and gives many masterclasses, both in the UK and overseas. He is in considerable demand as an adjudicator and is a member of the ABRSM examining panel, which has taken him to Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Indonesia and many European countries.

James taught piano at Queenswood for over fifteen years and is delighted to be back to adjudicate the 9th Queenswood Piano Competition.