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Abigail James

Guitar Adjudicator

Abigail James has performed in all the UK’s major venues including St Martin-in-the-Fields, St John’s Smith Square, the Barbican, the Purcell Room, Conway Hall, the Royal Opera House, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and in Tate Britain’s Late at Tate series. Her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 


She has taken on some of the most challenging guitar parts of the twentieth century in Maxwell Davies’ two operas The Martyrdom of St Magnus (Music Theatre Wales) and The Lighthouse (The Opera Group) and in Boulez’s Le Marteau sans Maître. She toured the UK with Music Theatre Wales and performed with them in Quimper’s Festival des Mondes Celtesand Düsseldorf’s Sechs Tage festival. Abigail has played with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Music Players, Reservoir and was a leading member of the London Guitar Trio. 


Abigail formed a unique partnership with choreographer and dancer Sarah Warsop and together they performed Pete Wyer’s solo Flap for the Cutting Edge series at The Warehouse. For this highly acclaimed concert and the resulting Cutting Edge Tour, Abigail commissioned choreographer Joanne Fong to create a dance film to accompany Phil Cashian’s piece Black Venus.


Her interest in innovative artistic collaboration has taken her on tour in Japan with Hartland Chamber Opera and Japanese puppet group Saruhachi-Za in a production of The She-Fox of Shinoda, Japanese folk tale set to music by British composer Colin Hodgetts. She has also performed with contemporary dance group Snag Project at the Clore Studio of the Royal Opera House, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Cardiff’s The Blue Room and in Swindon’s Taking Risks festival.


Abigail has recorded for NMC, Burning Shed, Riverrun Records and most Delphian Records for a CD of Edward McGuire’s music with pianist Dominic Saunders and flautist Nancy Ruffer. Abigail has had new works written for her by Michael Zev Gordon, Andrew Keeling and Pete Wyer.


Abigail was the chosen artist to record Trinity College London’s CDs for their guitar syllabus 2016-2019 and featured with Carlos Bonell on the previous syllabus.  In 2018 she was engaged by the ABRSM to record the upper grades of their new syllabus, including duets with Laura Snowden.  She also contributed several arrangements for Grade 2, 4 and 5 and an original composition for the Prep Test.

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