James Baillieu



Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’ James Baillieu is one of the leading song and chamber music pianists of his generation.  He has given solo and chamber recitals throughout the world and collaborates with a wide range of singers and instrumentalists including Benjamin Appl, Jamie Barton, Ian Bostridge, Allan Clayton, Annette Dasch, Lise Davidsen, the Elias and Heath Quartets, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Adam Walker, and Pretty Yende.  As a soloist, he has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and the Wiener Kammersymphonie. 

European highlights of the 2022-23 season include recitals with Lise Davidsen at the Bergen International Festival, a European tour of an all-Hahn program with Veronique Gens, performances in the United Kingdom and Spain with violist Timothy Ridout, and a fully-produced staged presentation of Winterreise with Benjamin Appl at the Gran Teatre del Liceu designed by Spanish painter and sculptor Antonio López.

North American appearances of the current season include a recital with violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen in a program of C.P.E. Bach presented by San Francisco Performances, tour dates with baritone Benjamin Appl in Detroit, New York City, Portland, San Francisco, and Vancouver, and a pair of recitals with tenor Allan Clayton at the Park Avenue Armory, New York. 

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“Anything but an “accompanist,” Baillieu was at least Appl’s expressive equal. Again and again, a subtle shift of color, a chord exquisitely balanced, a telling hesitation before a pivotal downbeat shed new light on the music. I can’t recall another pianist so daringly delaying that magical shift from minor to major mode in the opening “Good Night,” before the words “I will not disturb you as you dream.” It was the stuff of chills down the back.”

Scott Cantrell

The Dallas Morning News

“Clayton and Baillieu performed it with stunning understanding and a theatrical verve.

Richard Morrison

The Times

“As ever, James Baillieu was the perfect accompanist. The subtle brilliance of the tiptoeing accompaniment to Thomas Dunhill’s ‘The Cloths of Heaven’, the kitten-on-the-keys appoggiaturas against the warm Berceuse in ‘The monk and his Cat’, the brittle waltzes in ‘Nuvoletta’ and ‘Oft in the Stilly Night’, the tolling ostinato in ‘The desire for Hermitage’, and the rich chromaticism of the Balfe numbers, all demonstrated a consummate understanding of the idioms.”

Barry Creasy

Music OMH

“At the piano Baillieu unfailingly captured the mood of each of the nine songs in writing that ranges from tumultuous to stark, declamatory to numb.”

Rebecca Franks

The Times