top of page
james kirby piano

The piano recital given at Wigmore Hall by James Kirby revealed a musician as well as a pianist. Here was one who used a superb technique not for its own ends but as the key to exploring the innermost secrets of whatever he played. For him the composer’s  inner imaginative world counts for much more than the external trappings with which the music is clothed.

Musical Opinion


James appears as recitalist and concerto soloist throughout the UK and Europe. Highlights include performances at London’s Wigmore Hall,  Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals, St George’s, Bristol, and Dora Stoutzker Hall, Cardiff. He is increasingly in demand in the Far East, where recent appearances include concerts in China, Singapore and Malaysia.

James studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Hamish Milne and the Moscow Conservatoire with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Eliso Virsaladze. Following his student years in Moscow he undertook regular solo and chamber music tours of the former Soviet Union, making notable appearances at the Sakharov Festival in Nizhny Novgorod, the Omsk Festival and the Viktor Merzhanov Festival in Tambov. He was a semi-finalist in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and won First Prize in the Citta di Marsala Piano Competition in Sicily.


He has appeared as concerto soloist with the English, Scottish and Belarusian Chamber Orchestras, the Moscow, Kazakh, Astana and Penang Symphony Orchestras, the Arad and Oradea Philharmonic Orchestras (Romania), in venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and Astana Opera House. He has performed both Brahms Concertos in Russia and Romania.


James is a member of the Barbican Piano Trio, performing at Wigmore Hall, in major UK festivals and concert series, and throughout Europe and the USA. Highlights include Carnegie Recital Hall and several cycles of Beethoven’s complete Piano Trios including the Master Concert Series at Wigmore Hall. The Trio’s repertoire consists of over seventy works. 


James enjoyed a long collaboration with the celebrated Russian violinist Lydia Mordkovitch and has worked with Martyn Brabbins, the Vanbrugh Quartet, BBC Singers, Dame Sarah Connolly and the pianist David Willison.

Professor James Kirby: Reflecting on a Musical Life

An interview with Anthony Cheng

bottom of page