KANNA Award winner for Best Male Artist at the 2010 ABSA KKNK, James Grace is one of one South Africa’s leading concert artists. In recent years he has appeared with the Cape Philharmonic, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic, the Johannesburg Festival, the Johannesburg Philharmonic and the Free State Symphony in concerti by Rodrigo, Villa – Lobos, Giuliani and Vivaldi.
This year James’s concert schedule has taken him throughout South Africa, the U.A.E and Zimbabwe. He was the soloist in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and Pieter Daniel at Kirstenbosch’s Summer Concert Series, and recently James joined forces with Jonathan Crossley to give the South African premiere of Rodrigo’s Concierto Madrigal for two guitars with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Alessandro Crudele.
James studied at the Royal College of Music in London as a Foundation Scholar with Carlos Bonell. Upon graduating he became the first guitarist in the history of the College to receive the Tagore Gold Medal, an annual award presented to the most outstanding student.
After spending two years in Doha, in the Arabian State of Qatar where he taught guitar at an International Music Centre, James returned to South Africa and was appointed Head of Classical Guitar Studies at the University of Cape Town.
James has recently released his fifth solo album, World Café, under his own record label, Stringwise Records. His previous two releases Sevilla – Music of Spain II and Café Latino both topped the Classic Fm Top 20 South African Charts and earned James SAMA nominations for Best Popular Classical Album and Best Instrumental Album respectively.
James is in the final stages of setting up the Stringwise Young Artist’s Trust, with the aim of assisting young artists from across the country produce their own albums and offer bursaries for overseas study.