James Baillieu, one of South Africa’s top young pianists and accompanists graduated with distinction and a class medal from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2004. He studied piano under Graham Fitch and François du Toit, and the clarinet under Jimmy Reinders. Before enrolling at UCT he completed an Individualised Programme of Study in piano and accompaniment at Trinity College of Music, London. As a distinguished music student at UCT he was awarded all the piano prizes. He also won the first Laura Searle Piano Competition and the Eric Chisholm Centenary Competition in Cape Town, as well as the Rachmaninov Piano Competition at Stellenbosch Conservatoire.
In 2004 he participated in the International Russian Music Piano Competition in California at which as a laureate he was awarded a scholarship to study in Vienna. At the Vienna International Pianists Academy James was awarded the Rosario Marciano prize for an eminent artistic personality.
James has received a full scholarship, the Avery Picker award, from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he is completing his postgraduate studies with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. James has won the Flora Nielsen, Ludmilla Andrews, Major V Someren-Godfrey, Helen Eames and Brenda Webb prizes at the Academy. He recently was a participant at the European Liedforum in Berlin, and also attended the 2006 George Solti Accademmia di Bel Canto in Italy working with Mirella Freni.
James was awarded the Elisa Fawcett award at the Royal Overseas League Competition and the prestigious MBF accompanist’s prize at the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, which took place at the Wigmore Hall.