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james kirby piano
james kirby piano
james kirby piano

James teaches piano and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Eton College and Royal Holloway, University of London.

He is also in demand as an Educator in the following areas:


James is a frequent jury member of international piano competitions and has worked in China, Slovenia, Latvia, Romania and Russia in this capacity. In 2023 he was on the panel of the Gulangyu Piano Competition in Xiamen, China, the Nora Novika Chamber Music Competition in Riga, the Premia International Competition in Hong Kong and the Music Edventure Competition in Seoul, Korea.

james kirby piano


James is regularly invited to give masterclasses in the UK and overseas. Having given numerous masterclasses at Conservatoires and prestigious Music Schools in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, his work now takes him to  China (most recently in Xiamen and Hong Kong), Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

National Competitions

James has adjudicated prizes at the Royal College of Music (Chappell Gold Medal Award), Royal Academy of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, Leeds College of Music, Emanuel and Appelbe Prizes, Christopher Duke Award, EPTA and many schools including Radley College, Cheltenham Ladies College, City of London School for Girls and Charterhouse.


James is a member of the British and International Federation of Festivals and is a popular adjudicator; he is always pleased to give 'mini-masterclasses' as part of his feedback. He has worked at numerous Festivals in the UK, and the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival on multiple occasions.

james kirby piano
james kirby piano

Schools Concerts

James gives concerts for children and together with the Barbican Piano Trio, has collaborated with the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust on many projects.

james kirby piano


james kirby piano

James is a highly experienced examiner and has been a member of the ABRSM panel for over twenty five years. He has examined and moderated Diplomas in China, Singapore, Indonesia and many European countries in addition to his work in the UK.

Music Courses

James is the regular pianist for the National Chamber Music Course, held every year in the UK and coaches chamber music at Benslow Music. He has coached at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Pro Corda, Nottingham University and Uppingham School.

NCMC23 group photo.jpg

National Chamber Music Course

Writing and Lectures

James enjoys writing about music and musicians. His tribute to Hamish Milne, his much loved professor at the Royal Academy of Music, can be read here.


James gives lecture-recitals in the UK and overseas, most recently in Hong Kong, where he spoke on the following subjects:

  • Technique – how to play effortlessly



  • How to achieve the perfect balance between thinking and feeling – head and heart



  • Character and imagination in romantic repertoire



  • Innovations in Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

  • How to achieve full marks in a music exam

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