James Boyd has established his reputation as one of the leading exponents of the classical guitar.
Recent concert appearances include the Aldeburgh, Bath, Norfolk & Norwich and St Magnus Festivals.
Boyd studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he was awarded the Julian Bream prize. His lyrical playing style is strongly influenced by the vocal training he received from the countertenor Charles Brett and he works regularly with the lyric tenor Robin Tritschler and the countertenor Michael Chance CBE.
Boyd is one of the few guitarists to centre his career on the commissioning and performance of new English works for the guitar and he has premiered new music by Elspeth Brooke, Jonathan Dove, Joseph Phibbs and Anthony Powers, amongst others. In 2012 he developed the unique creative project Sea Change: An Adventure of Music and Sailing that sees him sail to different ports in England and abroad, commissioning and performing music written about the sea and his voyage.
His performances have been recorded for BBC Radio 3 and his album Shapes of Sleep was released to widespread critical acclaim. He has lectured at the Royal Academy of Music and regularly gives workshops and masterclasses in guitar for all ages from beginners to professional musicians, often incorporating writing and high performance learning from other disciplines such as dance, circus skills, sailing, Alexander Technique and Authentic Yang style Tai Chi.
In 2014 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his distinguished contribution to music in his field.
“Lyrical style enriched by a gorgeous tone make this a guitar recital to
savour... would that there were more classical guitarists around with
Boyd’s taste and imagination”
— Gramophone Magazine
“A virtuoso musician... a homage to life”
— Classic Boat Magazine
— The Independent
“The great delight here is the warm, songful, sometimes sing-song lines James Boyd coaxes from his guitar. So that, in Dowland and Tippett alike, he remains a comforting and enthusiastic companion. A clever programme plays to Boyd’s strengths—not only his full-bodied tone but also his intelligence. These are performances that are always going somewhere”
— Gramophone Magazine
“Britten’s expansive solo work reconstitutes in 20 century terms Dowland’s ancient melancholia, while Tippett’s slightly kinky and harmonically prodigious Blue Guitar emerges as the wild card. Recorded at the Snape Maltings, this album is a beautiful thing”
— Classic fm Magazine
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