James Baillieu

Described by The Daily Telegraph as “in a class of his own”, in 2012 James won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust Award.  He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2010. He is an International Tutor in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music and is the head of the Song Programme at the Atelier Lyrique of the Verbier Festival Academy.

© Kaupo Kikkas


Born in South Africa, James studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music in London with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. He was appointed a Hodgson Junior Fellow in 2007, a Professor of Piano Accompaniment in 2011, and awarded an ARAM in 2012.

An accomplished chamber musician, soloist and accompanist, James collaborates with singers and instrumentalists including Lise Davidsen, the Heath Quartet, Adam Walker, Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Pumeza Matshikiza, Allan Clayton, Jacques Imbrailo, Ailish Tynan and John Mark Ainsley.  Venues include Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, Bridgewater Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin and the Bergen, Spitalfields, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, City of London, St Magnus, Norfolk & Norwich, Brighton, Verbier and Aix-en-Provence Festivals.   As a soloist he has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and at the Petworth Festival with the Wiener Kammersymphonie.



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    CPE Bach Complete Works for Violin and Keyboard

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 04 Oct 19

    Violin: Tamsin Waley-Cohen
    Piano: James Baillieu

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    Life Force

    Label: Rubicon Classics

    Release Date: 22 Jun 18

    Trombone: Peter Moore
    Piano: James Baillieu

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    HAHN Chamber Music & Song, Vol. 1

    Label: Champs Hill

    Release Date: 02 Mar 18

    Violin: Bartosz Woroch
    Violin: Benjamin Baker
    Viola: Adam Newman
    Cello: Tim Lowe
    Piano: James Baillieu

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    BRAHMS An English Requiem

    Label: Delphian

    Release Date: 17 Nov 17

    Conductor: Joseph Fort

    Soprano: Mary Bevan
    Baritone: Marcus Farnsworth
    Piano: James Baillieu
    Piano: Richard Uttley
    The Choir of King’s College London

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    Label: Sony

    Release Date: 10 Mar 17

    Baritone: Benjamin Appl
    Piano: James Baillieu

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    I Heard You Singing

    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 31 Dec 15

    Tenor: Ben Johnson
    Piano: James Baillieu

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    Love's Old Sweet Song

    Label: Champs Hill Records

    Release Date: 02 Feb 15

    Mezzo-soprano: Kathryn Rudge
    Piano: James, Baillieu

    Catalogue number: CHRCD092

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    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 02 Apr 13

    Flute: Adam Walker
    Piano: James Baillieu

    Catalogue number: CHRCD092

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    BRITTEN The Canticles

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Feb 13

    Ben Johnson
    Benedict Nelson
    Christopher Ainslie
    James Baillieu
    Lucy Wakeford
    Martin Owen

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    19 Feb 21 DG Stage Recital with Pumeza Matshikiza

    “Third is ‘L’avertimento’ (Buratti) more agile and calling on Matshikiza’s lower register while ‘La Biondina in Gondoleta’ (text Antonio Lamberti) is a gloriously flowing Andantino with an appealing piano postlude; Baillieu is so sensitive here. ‘Che pecà’ (Francesco Dall’Ongaro) is a strophic song of charm; the piano part is simple, staccato chords; the melodic line has all the interest it needs. Matshikiza is a real storyteller too, and this song really shows that off. ‘La primavera’ (Alvise Cigogna) has a tricky piano part, perfectly scaled by Baillieu (he conjures a lovely bell-like treble too). Characterisation from both musicians was superb throughout.”

    “Together Baillieu and Matshikiza constitute one story-telling entity; one feels that whatever the repertoire, one would be gripped. Their move from France to Spain was beautifully managed, each perfectly evoked.”

    “[…]Baillieu confirmed himself as one of the foremost piano accompanists active today. ”

    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 20 February 2021

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    21 Oct 20 Allan Clayton, Stephanie Wake-Edwards recital
    Wigmore Hall

    “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, 22 October 2020

    “From the insistent tolling that opens the piano part through the restless assault of “Batter my heart” and the drooping bitterness of “O might those sighs”, Clayton and pianist James Baillieu kept us edgy and unsettled as they wrestled with these inscrutable settings.”

    Alexandra Coghlan, Arts Desk, 22 October 2020

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    10 Feb 20 Recital, Lise Davidsen

    “At the piano, Baillieu was a beautifully matched “partner in crime” (Davidsen’s phrase, in one of several disarmingly sweet spoken introductions), with quicksilver fingers in Grieg, a delicious flexibility of tempo in Strauss and delicately balanced sound throughout. And in the closing bars of Strauss’s Morgen (their second encore), he provided the most breathtaking touch of all – suspending time and allowing silence itself to speak.”

    Flora Willson, The Guardian, 11 February 2020

    “First of the encores, Sibelius’s “Svarta rosor” (“Black roses”), found Davidsen at her ringingly dramatic best, though it’s a brave singer who chooses the almost-whispered intimacies of Strauss’s “Morgen” (“Tomorrow”) at the end of a taxing evening: here Baillieu again carried the magic.”

    David Nice, Arts Desk, 11 February 2020

    “Nothing quite prepared us for the simply shattering power Davidsen and Baillieu brought to the prayer and her execution, “Abschied von der Welt”. It simply chilled me to the bon[…] In every way, James Baillieu was an impeccable partner.”

    Marc Bridle, Opera Today, 11 February 2020

    “Delicately supported by the scrupulous pianist James Baillieu, Davidsen began with five Brahms lieder, and it was the soft, wistful gleam in her voice that caught the ear.”

    Neil Fisher, The Times, 11 February 2020

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    29 Jan 20 Recital, Benjamin Appl

    “James Baillieu war der ideale Begleiter am Klavier.”

    Michael Wruss, Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 31 January 2020

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    26 Jan 20 Recital, Angle Blue
    Dallas Opera

    “Her excellent collaborative pianist, James Baillieu was with her all the way, underlining and illustrating the aspects of the music as she performed it. While sharing the stage with such a megawatt singer is a challenge, the audience appreciated his invaluable contribution as much as she did.”

    Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones 31 January 2020

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    24 Jan 20 Recital, Tara Erraught

    “Am Klavier präsentiert sich der Südafrikaner James Baillieu als umsichtiger Begleiter, der aber vor allem bei den Liszt-Liedern eigenständig und ideenreich bleibt. Sprudelnde Gewässer, silbriges Mondlicht lässt er da süffig und mit viel Pedal entstehen. Das funktioniert auch bei den Strauss-Liedern gut, bei Brahms geht so aber die harmonische Durchsichtigkeit bisweilen verloren.”

    David Renke, Suddeutsche Zeitung, 26 Janaury 2020

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    04 Jan 20 Recital, Allan Clayton
    Wigmore Hall

    “As for pianist James Baillieu, I can only say that he fitted into Britten’s pianist shoes perfectly […] Clayton and Baillieu gave us committed, thoughtful and dramatic performances.”

    Agnes Kory, Seen and Heard International, 8 January 2020

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    29 Dec 19 Recital, Tara Erraught
    Wigmore Hall

    “Her partnership with Baillieu is clearly a fine one, too. He’s an exceptional accompanist, knowing both when to hold back and let the vocal line do the work, and when to assert himself and propel the music forward. Loewe’s sometimes deceptively simple figurations seemed fraught with meaning throughout, and his playing in Mahler’s Ich Atmet’ Einen Linden Duft was simply exquisite.”

    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 2 January 2020

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    04 Dec 19 Recital, Pretty Yende
    Carnegie Hall

    “Baillieu brought a gorgeous variety of tone and natural freedom in his phrasing: he offered a gossamer touch in “Der Nussbaum,” dreaming sighs in Donizetti’s “Le crépuscule,” and rippling breezes in Tosti’s “Aprile.” In Strauss’s “Zueignung” he played with concerto-like virtuosity, contrasting with the airy glitter of “Ständchen.” If Wednesday was indicative of his usual playing, Baillieu might become one of the few pianists to achieve real fame as a vocal accompanist.”

    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 5 December 2019

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    13 Sep 19 BRITTEN Britten Gala
    Wigmore Hall

    “It was an outstanding performance, made all the more so by James Baillieu, distinguished throughout the evening. People still recall Britten’s facility for talking through his piano-playing, and there is a similar unforced directness to Baillieu, whether in the virtuosity of On this Island or the recessive, fractured commentaries of the Blake settings.”

    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 13 September 2019

    “James Baillieu, the excellent accompanist throughout the evening, was here most clearly an equal partner, as these ambiguous songs, gnomic proverbs and the linking piano part are played without pause. The fierce concentration from singer and pianist communicated so intensely as to make one re-evaluate this least ingratiating of Britten’s cycles, as a fine performance sometimes does.”

    Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack, 14 September 2019

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    12 Jul 19 Recital, Benjamin Appl, Harald Krassnitzer

    “Die differenzierte Begleitung von James Baillieu am Flügel ergänzt den Vortrag aufs trefflichste. Es ist ein Hochgenuss, den beiden jungen Künstlern lauschen zu dürfen.”

    Monika Ziegler, Kultur Vision Aktuell, 14 July 2019

    “Eine ähnliche Mischung aus plastischem Spiel und klanglicher Ausgewogenheit erzielt sein Pianist James Baillieu.”

    Michael Stallknecht, Sueddeutsche Zeitung,14 July 2019

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    03 Mar 19 Recital, Benjamin Appl

    “Dank der Kunst des vorzüglichen Pianisten James Baillieu dringt Appl hier bis zu jenem abgeklärten Tonfall vor, wie man ihn aus den Intermezzi von Johannes Brahms kennt. Baillieu gehört zu jenen Zauberern, die ganze Seelenlandschaften entstehen lassen, sobald sie nur die Tasten berühren. Er ist einer jener wundersam diskreten Kulissenschieber, die jedem Kunstlied nahezu unbemerkt, aber äußerst wirkungsvoll die Szene bereiten.”

    Anke Demirsoy, Revierpassagen, 3 March 2019

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    20 Jan 19 Recital, Benjamin Appl
    Phillips Collection, Washington

    “At the end of “Dichterliebe,” the singer falls silent and the piano takes over, and it was a testimony to Baillieu’s gifts that after an impressive performance by a charismatic singer, the piano so effectively, and so tellingly, had the last word.”
    Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, 21 Janaury 2019

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    06 Jan 19 Recital, Benjamin Appl
    Park Avenue Armory, New York

    “He performs with the pianist James Baillieu, who on Sunday maintained clarity…”
    Joshua Barone, New York Times, 7 January 2019

    ““Das Wirtshaus” was filled with nostalgia as each phrase was sung with a hushed timbre. Appl floated the line while Baillieu’s piano was pure tenderness, almost as if he were playing a lullaby… Pianist Baillieu performed with veritable elegance, working precisely in shaping every phrase with Appl. He never missed a dynamic or tempo shift, but what was most powerful was the overall cohesion in the two matching musical colors. In pieces like “Der Leiermann” it was as if they were having a conversation, questioning and answering each other.”
    Francisco Salazar, Opera Wire, 14 Janaury 2019

    “Appl’s singing also had the musical virtues of finely turned phrases and legato, traits matched by the playing of pianist Baillieu, who interpreted Schubert’s terse, enigmatic settings with unfailing sensitivity and imagination. He proved a strong and equal partner to the singer…”
    David Wright, New York Classical Review, 11 January 2019

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    25 Aug 18 Recital
    Edinburgh Festival

    “…James Baillieu negotiated its subterranean mutterings and spiky rhythms with dazzling flair, creating real drama out of the spectral rumblings at the outer reaches of the keyboard.”
    Simon Thompson, Bach Track, 25 August 2018

    “…Copland’s splashy Piano Variations, delivered with verve and commitment by James Baillieu…”
    Susan Nickalls, The Scotsman, 27 August 2018

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    22 Jun 18 Life Force
    Rubicon Classics

    “…complemented by accompanist James Baillieu’s melting phrasing…”
    Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine, August 2018

    “Moore is helped at every stage of the way by his duet partner, James Baillieu – who supports him with the same sensitivity to mood and colour that he brings to Lieder.  And this is a real partnership: the way Baillieu teases gently at the piano part of the slow movement from Rachmaninov’s Cello Sonata, or generates a hushed, pregnant space at the opening of Brahms’s Op 121 songs, very audibly gives Moore something to work with and helps shape the direction of his long, carefully phrased lines.”
    Richard Bratby, Gramophone, September 2018

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    02 Mar 18 HAHN Chamber Music & Song, Vol. 1

    “…Baillieu’s treatment of the accompaniment, which is exquisite.”
    Tim Ashley, Gramophone, 2018

    “Beautifully played here by the pianist James Baillieu, with Benjamin Baker and Bartosz Woroch (violins), Tim Lowe (cello) and Adam Newman (viola), they’re a pleasurable discovery.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 19 May 2018

    “Throughout pianist James Baillieu accompanies, partners, supports and shines throughout. The quartet and quintet have substantial piano parts (Hahn was a fine pianist) but Baillieu has the knack of playing with great collegiality…”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 21 May 2018

    “The French composer, born in Venezuela, is best known for his exquisite songs: two of his most famous, A Chloris and Si mes vers avaient des ailes, are included here. Baillieu’s project to record his chamber output as well brings his rare, late Piano Quartet in G (1946) and 1921 quintet in F sharp minor. This melodic, rigorously formal music, recalling Franck and Fauré, is played with zeal by all five musicians.”
    The Sunday Times, May 2018

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    15 Apr 18 Recital, Tara Erraught
    Heidelberger Frühling

    “…James Baillieu ist ihr ein idealer Zuspieler. Heftiger, mit vielen Bravo-Rufen durchsetzter Beifall und eine sichtbar glückliche Sängerin.”
    Eckhard Britsch, Kultur, 17 April 2018

    “James Baillieu ist ihr ein idealer Zuspieler. Heftiger, mit vielen Bravo-Rufen durchsetzter Beifall und eine sichtbar glückliche Sängerin.”
    Eckhard Britsch, Mannheimer Morgen, 17 April 2018

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    20 Jan 18 Recital, Louise Alder
    Wigmore Hall

    “The magical piano postlude to the final song “I’ vidi in terra angelici costumi” was just one of several moments during the evening where the wonderful James Baillieu showed his mettle – his joyous musicality, so irrepressible earlier in Mendelssohn’s “Neue Liebe”, here filed down to a delicate point.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, 22 January 2018

    “James Baillieu gave her the most collaborative accompaniment throughout, with the delicate phrases of ‘I’vidi in terra angelici costumi’ a particular joy.”
    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 21 January 2018

    “Baillieu’s upholstered accompaniment through the modulations of ‘Cäcilie’ and the piano’s arpeggiated bed to ‘Heimliche Aufforderung’ (Secret Invitation) were deeply impressive, while singer and pianist combined to ensure that Strauss’s small masterpiece ‘Morgen!’ was – and I don’t write this lightly – sheer perfection. Baillieu is as versatile as he is technically proficient, and Liszt’s Three Petrarch Sonnets allowed him to close the official programme with a well-earned flourish. His declamatory accompaniment to ‘Pace non trovo’ (I Find No Peace) was masterly, and he combined with Alder to render ‘Benedetto sia l’ gogno’ (Blessed Be the Day) and ‘I’ vidi in terra angelici costumi’ (I Beheld on Earth Angelic Grace) as dramas in miniature, the latter in particular resembling an excerpt from an abandoned opera.”
    Mark Valencia, Classical Source, 20 January 2018

    “Alder and Baillieu’s performance made the most of Mozart’s deceptively simple songs, An Chloe, Abendempfindung and Der Zauberer; the first full of charm, the second quietly concentrated and the third a characterful narrative. There was a nice vibrancy to Alder’s lyric soprano and she phrased the songs beautifully, supported by Baillieu’s poised playing… The final song was pure Bellini, albeit in a supercharged way. Alder sang with an elegant sense of line, real identification and a lovely ease at the top, but I still missed the tenor voice. Baillieu was a superb partner, taking Liszt’s elaborate, virtuoso piano writing (hardly an accompaniment at all) in his stride.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 20 January 2018

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    14 Jan 18 Recital, Tara Erraught
    Vancouver Playhouse

    “Behind her is accompanist James Baillieu, a comrade every step of the way, playing with great sensitivity and imagination… One cannot underplay the sensitivity of pianist James Baillieu, who controlled his dynamics with great insight, and the Schumannesque ‘Die Lorelei’ offered a particularly sentient and compelling response from both artists.”
    Geoffrey Newman, Seen and Heard, 22 January 2018

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    09 Jan 18 Recital, Allan Clayton

    “… James Baillieu matching, balancing and supporting Clayton’s persuasive and illuminating readings of Purcell, Schubert and Schumann…. Clayton’s conversational, communicative approach emphasised the texts’ meanings, making Purcell sound far more contemporary, and Baillieu’s exquisite, concentrated punctuations added to the vocal and literary significance, whether prayerful introspections for the ‘Morning’ or ‘Evening’ Hymns, and ‘Music for a while’ was given an absorbing exploration, evoking the eerie qualities hidden in the text, definitely on the dark side.”
    Amanda-Jane Doran, Classical Source, January 2018

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    09 May 17 Recital, Lise Davidsen Rosenblatt Recitals
    Wigmore Hall

    “”There’s an endearing conflict to Davidsen’s stage presence- funny, warm and thoughtful when talking about her repetoire, instinctive when interacting with Baillieu (musically sensitive as ever)….”
    Alexandra Coughlan, The Arts Desk, 10 May 2017

    “It was uplifting, though, to hear her in big songs by Grieg and Sibelius with James Baillieu at the piano valiantly striving to match the singer’s resplendent outpouring of tone.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 10 May 2017

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    18 Apr 17 Heimat CD Sony Classical
    Sony Classical

    “But we also have the disarming, twinkling simplicity of Reger’s ‘Des Kindes Gebet’, as well as Adolf Strauss’s suave ‘Ich weiss bestimmt’, presented with a gentle pathos and sophistication that quietly underlines the tragedy of its having been composed in Terezín – here, as throughout, the piano-playing of James Baillieu is superb.”
    Hugo Shirley, Gramophone, 2017

    “Accompanying Appl- who responds to texts and their implications with ease – is pianist James Baillieu. His way with Schubert’s Seligkeit is exemplary, he captures the bitter-sweet tinge of Reger’s Des Kindes Gebet to perfection and provides a wonderful bed of sound for Schreker’s astonishing Waldeinsamkeit. Throughout, Baillieu provides himself in harmonically elusive textures, his Schubert Nachstuck finds him spinning a carpet of twilight. A real winner.”
    International Piano Magazine, July 2017

    “His Schubert, Brahms and Wolf are impressive, thanks partly to James Baillieu’s finely judged piano playing…”
    Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 9 March 2017

    “…but mostly these performances are mellow in sound, engagingly expressive and skilfully accompanied by James Baillieu.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 10 March 2017

    “Baillieu is an imaginative and insightful partner, and the recording does full justice to a winning project.”
    Guy Weatherall, Rheingold, 24 March 2017

    “Saluons en revanche la prestation du pianiste James Baillieu. De son toucher léger et élégant, il répond à merveille au chant nuancé du baryton créant ainsi un superbe climat d’intimité et de complicité.”

    We welcome the performance of the pianist James Baillieu. His light and elegant touch perfectly matches with the nuanced singing of the baritone. He creates a perfect intimate and complicity atmosphere.
    Andreas Laska, Res Musica, 29 May 2017

    “Ein eindringliches Recital gleichwohl, auch dank des exzellent Klavier-Partners James Baillieu.”

    “An impressive recital, also thanks to the excellent piano partner James Baillieu.”
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 15 May 2017

    “Dennoch gelingen Benjamin Appl und Begleiter James Baillieu Äußerst intensive interpretationen, beispielweise mit ‘Ich weiß bestimmit, ich werd’disch wiedersehen’ …”

    “Nevertheless, Benjamin Appl and his companion James Baillieu succeeded in the extremely intense interpretations, in particular in ‘Ich weiß bestimmit, ich werd’disch wiedersehen’…”
    Die Rheinpfalz, 14 March 2017

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    06 Mar 17 Recital, Tara Erraught
    Wigmore Hall

    “At last, with The Shepherd on the Rock, Plucha could do more than embroider and noodle. He and James Baillieu spread before us a landscape of desolate beauty …
    Finally, unavoidably for a lyric mezzo, Rossini: an insertion aria for Rosina in The Barber of Seville. With Baillieu at his most hushed and keenly responsive…”
    Peter Quantrill, Arts Desk, 8 March 2017

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    13 Feb 17 Recital, Kathryn Rudge
    Wigmore Hall

    “James Baillieu showed why he is the heir apparent to such luminaries of the world of ‘accompanists’ … even with the piano lid fully raised Baillieu never once over-powered his soloist, yet there was not a gesture that was not defined with crystalline eloquence and when he took the opportunity to indulge in powerful expressive utterance, it was always with the utmost taste and composure.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 13 February 2017

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    29 Jan 17 Recital, Tim Mead
    Wigmore Hall

    “Baillieu had some lovely illustrative moments in the piano, such as the galloping horses, and the climax was thrillingly vivid.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 30 January 2017

    “James Baillieu, who has decisively and rapidly established himself as a remarkably astute accompanist, was on magnificent form – just to hear his playing in the Roe or in Britten’s ‘O Waly, Waly’ gave you an idea of his calibre, and he really clicked with Mead.”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 30 January 2017

    “Baillieu, with his warm sound and empathetic ear, is one of our favourite pianists these days. His playing reminds us of something Steven Blier said about the job of the accompanist, how it’s like taking a singer by the hand and leading them down a hallway of doors. At each door, the pianist opens it for the singer, and asks if they want to go in; if they do, they join them enthusiastically, and if they don’t, the pianist simply invites the singer through the next door. Baillieu has a knack for creating a soloistic phrase out of a singer’s intent; he follows, without losing his autonomy.!
    Jenna Douglas, Schmopera, 30 January 2017

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    23 Oct 16 Recital, Jamie Barton
    Wigmore Hall

    “… she could then release a final magnificent inundation over Sibelius’ hyper-romantic Flickan kom ifran and Var det en drom, ably supported by James Baillieu’s rapturous pianism.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 24 October 2016

    “The beauty of the phrasing was remarkable, and was complemented in ‘Ständchen’ (Serenade) by Baillieu’s initial lightness of touch and subsequent depth of sentiment.

    ‘A les je tichý kolem kol’ (And all the wood is silent all around) was one of the highpoints of the recital; Baillieu’s falling arpeggios dripped with aching languor and there was a veiled quality to both the vocal line and the accompaniment that, while injected with greater definition as the song progressed, suggested a world beyond. ”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 24 October 2016

    “Baillieu opened Cuando tan hermosa os miro with stylish Iberian flourishes before Barton entered in dramatic fashion…

    Baillieu brought enormous charm and lightness of touch to the serenading accompaniment in Ständchen …

    Baillieu gave us some exquisitely delicate playing in the opening section of Säv, säv, susa while Barton moved seamlessly from dreamy lullaby to stirring recitative…”
    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard, 26 October 2016

    “Her pianist James Baillieu was subtle and supportive throughout, whether in the energy surge of Brahms’ “Meine Liebe ist grün”, a faultless headlong dive, or the intriguing quirky postludes to the Charles Ives songs.”
    Sebastian Scotney, The Arts Desk, 26 October 2016

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    27 Jul 16 Three Choirs Festival
    Gloucester, Marcus Farnsworth

    “…Finzi’s Earth and Air and Rain, with pianist James Baillieu’s expressive playing setting the seal on their interpretation. This recital also saw the premiere of Matthew Martin’s Sonnets of Petrarch, setting three poems which reflect on the transience of life and the consolation of the death. Martin’s piano-writing betrayed his organist background, but Farnsworth and
    Baillieu invested the whole with a palpable intensity.”
    Rian Evans, The Guardian, 28 July 2016

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    05 Jan 16 Recital, Heath Quartet
    Wigmore Hall

    “Baillieu’s outstanding musicianship in the Elgar Piano Quintet was another story. Supplying both the sensitivity and virtuosity required, he was at one with the strings here in playing with breathtaking unity of purpose.

    ‘…all five players found the profound depth and warmth at the heart of one of Elgar’s greatest masterpieces.”
    John Allison, The Telegraph, 6 January 2016

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    31 Dec 15 I Heard You Singing
    Opus Arte

    “Tenor Ben Johnson, light-voiced and lyrical, with high notes to make you swoon, and pianist James Baillieu, alert and responsive, are ideal duo partners…”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 10 January 2016

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    04 Dec 15 Recital, Iestyn Davies and Allan Clayton
    Wigmore Hall

    “Plaudits should also go to the excellent pianist James Baillieu, who contributed much to the make-up of the programme and accompanied with an unassertive sensitivity and imagination that illuminated every aspect of both music and text.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 5 December 2015

    “…Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac’, which these wonderful singers and their excellent accompanist James Baillieu turned into white-hot drama.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 5 December 2015

    “There was keen intelligence in the programming, an ear for subtle literary and musical connections, and significant personal investment… into the commission of Nico Muhly’s Lorne ye my Liking. There was also some of the most sheerly beautiful singing and playing to be heard from this generation of musicians.

    ‘…Canticle I: My Beloved is Mine, its rhapsodic, guileless descriptions of perfect love traced sweetly by Clayton and Baillieu.”

    Anna Picard, The Times, 7 December 2015

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    30 Nov 15 Highgate International Chamber Music Festival
    St Anne's Church

    “…with the star accompanist James Baillieu at the piano…”
    Etcetera, 27 November 2015

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    27 Sep 15 Wigmore Hall 1: 27 September 2015
    Wigmore Hall

    “Neven and James Baillieu’s collaboration and sense of Schubertian style were unerring here, and came into even sharper focus in ‘Augenlied…

    In a full survey of Schubert’s songs, someone had to perform all 26 verses of ‘Der Taucher’ and it fell to Neven and Baillieu; in some ways, it’s as much a tour de force for the pianist as for the singer, given how much he has to do to suggest those turbulent waters, about which we hear so often. Baillieu negotiated the challenging phrases with aplomb, especially the depiction of the final doomed dive.

    The highlight of the recital’s second half was a finely judged ‘Ganymed’ with especially gripping playing from Baillieu in the final section…”.

    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 28 September 2015

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    27 Aug 15 Schubert Southwell Festival
    Southwell Minster

    …”James Baillieu —a featured artist in the coming Wigmore Hall season —throwing off the virtuoso piano writing
    with insouciant ease and shaping Schubert’s songlike melodies with the instinct of a natural singer’s accompanist.”
    Hugh Canning,, 6 September 2015

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    28 May 15 Recital
    Wigmore Hall

    “James…managed to be both restrained and unfailingly sensitive to his soloist and endless inventive with the musical details, all of which were communicated with clarity and elegance”.
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 5 June 2015

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    18 May 15 Brighton Festival

    “In a sublime partnership of true musical minds, Benjamin Appl and James Baillieu presented a programme of stunning sensitivity for their Festival recital at All Saints.”

    “There was a natural perfection in Bailleu’s performance that made technique disappear to become part of a larger whole.”
    Louise Scweitzer, The Argus, 18 May 2015

    “I loved this intelligently balanced programme of Liszt, Rubenstein, Dvořák and Schumann songs.”

    “Ballieu and Appl, masters of delicacy, had no problem making the generous church acoustic ring even with the quietest tones, almost silence. Their encore, Richard Strauss’ ‘Morgen’, with its yearning introduction, promise of happiness and blissful melancholy, gave perfect closure to this exquisite recital.”
    Andrew Connal, The Latest, 15 May 2015

    “This whole concert was full of delightful contrasts. Playful, passionate, world-weary, James Baillieu’s masterful programming could not have been more varied or enchanting. The exuberant encore, ‘Love Went A‑Riding’ by Frank Bridge, made a stunning climax.”
    Andrew Connal, The Latest, 06 May 2015

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    08 Apr 15 Rosenblatt Recital
    Wigmore Hall

    “…impressed by the stimulating fare provided by these two young and prolific artists…”
    Richard Nicholson,, 8 April 2015

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    15 Feb 15 Myths of Eastern Europe
    Perth Concert Hall

    “…these concerts which have highlighted some marvellous music from the Balkans and beyond, thanks to pianist James Baillieu and his guests. This Sunday, it was Baillieu and the Heath Quartet whose performance of music by Martinu, Bartok and Szymanowski made it an afternoon to remember.”
    The Courier, 18 February 2015

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    02 Feb 15 Love's Old Sweet Song
    Champs Hill Records

    “…well supported by James Baillieu and the pair treat each song with the same care and sense of seriousness.”
    Robert Hugill,, 28 February 2015

    “Outstanding performances of every piece; I loved every minute of it…if you like exceptionally thoughtful music-making, this album is for you….Baillieu’s playing is warm and supportive.”

    American Record Guide, October 2015

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    12 Jun 14 Recital with Benjamin Appl
    Musikfest Kassel

    “Ebenso am Erfolg beteiligt war der vorzügliche Pianist James Baillieu, der mit glasklarer Präzision eine reiche Palette vom impressionistisch Glitzernden bis hin zu markanten Impulsen ausspielte. Einen weiten Bogen spannten die „Lieder über das Fortkommen“ mit ihren Bildern, Gefühlen und Reflexionen.”
    Von Georg Pepl, Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine, 13 June 2014

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    01 Feb 13 Britten Canticles
    Signum Records

    “The expressive nuance of James Baillieu’s piano accompanying is reminiscent of Britten’s own.”

    Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine, July 2013

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    01 Jul 13 Opus Arte Vocalise
    With Adam Walker

    “James Baillieu provides accompaniments with just the right degree of often gentle support, balanced with the flute to perfection.”

    Gramophone, July 2013

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    01 Apr 11 Recital with Marcus Farnsworth
    Wigmore Hall

    “Marcus Farnsworth had earned his Winner’s Recital but he was upstaged by his prodigiously gifted pianist. James Baillieu is surely the leader of the new generation of accompanists and will no doubt occupy the elite position currently held by such as Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles.”

    Classical Source, April 2011

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    01 Sep 09 Wigmore International Song Competition
    Wigmore Hall

    “James Baillieu is in a class of his own, he is in the Gerald Moore/Graham Johnson bracket, a remarkable pianist.”

    The Daily Telegraph, September 2009

    “The Pianist’s Prize was awarded to that magician of the keyboard James Baillieu…”

    Musical Pointers, September 2009

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    01 Jan 09 Recital with Allan Clayton
    Wigmore Hall

    “…Expertly accompanied by James Baillieu.”

    The Daily Telegraph, January 2009

    “James Baillieu, showed sensitivity and disarming simplicity in his approach to four of Hugo Wolf’s Eichendorff Lieder, before turning to Schumann’s setting of the poet in his Op 39 Liederkreis.”

    The Times, January 2009


James Baillieu: Facilitating Greatness at Verbier