James Oliver © 2010 Rachel Wilkinson

Welcome to James Oliver Music. James is a freelance pianist providing the following services:

  • Professional piano accompaniment/répétiteur or animateur work
  • Piano, vocal and music theory tuition
  • Ensemble coaching, conducting and musical directing
  • Transcription and editing
  • GCSE and A-Level tutoring


James was born in 1990 and began piano lessons at school aged seven. He entered into the Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department with a full scholarship ten years later in 2007, studying piano, organ, voice, conducting, and music theory with Magdalena Nasidlak, Henry Fairs, Alison Chamberlain, Patrick Bailey, and Peter Vernon respectively. In his last year at the conservatoire he was awarded the Frank Bridges Memorial Prize.

James went on to study music at the University of York (named ‘University of the Year’ in 2010), where the course is one of the top five in the country, graduating with a BA in 2011. At York, his passion for making music with others led him to explore teaching, to forge lasting musical relationships and collaborations with other performers culminating in a number of public recitals, and to hone and develop his conducting and directing skills by leading various ensembles. His current piano teacher is Liz Haddon, who helped him to win the concerto prize for which he performed Ravel’s Concerto pour la main gauche with the University Symphony Orchestra in December 2010. James has also received regular piano teaching from Sarah Beth Briggs and Joan Dixon, and has participated in masterclasses with Steven Osborne, Danny Driver, and Peter Hill. His passion for the music of Maurice Ravel led him to travel to France in 2010 to be mentored by some of the world’s finest interpreters of french music, namely Pascal Rogé, Paul Roberts and Roy Howat.

James is an active teacher, accompanist, musical director, conductor, ensemble coach and writer. Alongside these activities, James also transcribes and edits music, and is available to proofread academic submissions. He also enjoys playing the harpsichord and fortepiano.


Please visit the contact me page or the media page if you would like to know more, or visit the testimonials page to read reviews and references.