13 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes


About James Baillieu & Peter Moore

The South African-British accompanist and solo pianist James Baillieu has been one of the most highly regarded artists in his field since completing his studies with top honors in 2007. Baillieu was born in South Africa in 1982. Far from a child prodigy, he was encouraged to take up the piano after being diagnosed with poor hand-eye coordination. "I loved it, even though I was terrible at first. In fact, I became quite obsessive, and my mother had to tell me to stop and go outside to play. But I still can't catch a ball," he recalled to the Telegraph. Baillieu studied music at the University of Cape Town and turned to the role of accompanist when given the opportunity to work and perform with singers in the school's strong opera program, including soprano Pumeza Matshizika. In 2005, he won a scholarship for foreign students at the Royal Academy of Music. Graduating in 2007, he won the Christian Carpenter Award and notched competition prizes in England and beyond. These included a win at the Das Lied contest in Berlin, where one of the judges, Annette Dasch, was so impressed that she asked him to work with her. Baillieu has been supported by the prestigious Young Classical Artists' Trust and has won several other important scholarships.

Baillieu has collaborated with top singers including Dasch, Ian Bostridge, and Kiri Te Kanawa, as well as instrumentalists such as the Elias and Heath Quartets. He plays several concerts a year as a soloist, and has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Wiener Kammersymphonie. Baillieu made his recording debut in 2013, backing tenor Ben Johnson in Britten's The Canticles, and he has been sought out by singers for albums on the boutique Champs Hill and Resonus labels. In 2018, he joined both singers and instrumentalists for an album of music by Reynaldo Hahn.

In 2011, Baillieu was appointed professor of accompaniment at his alma mater, The Royal Academy. ~ James Manheim