James will direct a curricular revision of the postgraduate programme for Ensemble Piano, drawing on his experience working with the finest artists internationally to ensure Academy graduates are at the forefront of their discipline. This revised area of study will sit within the Academy’s Piano Department, overseen by Head of Piano and Dame Myra Hess Chair of Piano Professor Joanna MacGregor.

James is one of the foremost ensemble pianists of his generation. He has given solo and chamber recitals throughout the world and has collaborated with a wide range of singers and instrumentalists including Benjamin Appl, Jamie Barton, Ian Bostridge, Annette Dasch, Lise Davidsen, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Adam Walker, Pretty Yende and Academy alumni Allan Clayton and Timothy Ridout. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and the Wiener Kammersymphonie.

A professor and vocal coach at the Academy since 2011, James is also a coach for the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, a course leader for the Samling Foundation, and is head of the Song Program at the Atelier Lyrique of the Verbier Festival Academy. He is a trustee of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

Principal Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE said:

‘I am delighted that James Baillieu will be leading our new ensemble piano curriculum from September. This represents a major opportunity for the Academy to think freshly about the range of skills and experiences that pianists require for professional life in the post-pandemic era – building on the fine accompaniment teaching we have established over decades and placing it within the heart of the piano department and all the expanded opportunities under Joanna MacGregor’s leadership. This integration under Joanna and James presents a series of exciting new possibilities for students from all over the world.

'As an eminent artist working at the top international level, an exceptional teacher, mentor and collaborator, James will inspire not only those specialising in ensemble piano, but the whole keyboard community. I greatly look forward to working with him.’

James Baillieu commented on his appointment:

'The Academy has been my musical home since I arrived as a student in 2005, so I am absolutely thrilled to have been appointed to this new role.

'It will be an honour to build on the Academy’s great tradition of training for ensemble pianists. This is an enormously exciting opportunity to refine, update and create a new curriculum for ensemble pianists that will focus on providing the skills and tools needed in the profession today.

'I look forward to collaborating closely with Joanna and the whole faculty at the Academy, to modernise the ensemble piano offering into something relevant, exciting and attractive for the next generation.'

Image © David Ruano