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‘A superb player’— The Independent

Critically acclaimed musician Jamie Akers was hailed as the great Scottish guitarist’ by Classical Guitar Magazine and, in a review from Gramophone, his playing was described as,containing all the warmth, colour and expressive richness one could hope for.’ Jamie has, throughout a varied career, explored various genres of music from a historical and stylistic perspective, combining diligent research with expressive performances to communicate the continuity of musical endeavor through the centuries.

‘Played with beauty, taste, and subtlety…utterly enchanting’— BBC Music Magazine

Jamie was born in Scotland and began playing guitar at the age of 10. Initially playing rock and blues then attempting to play jazz and finally settling on the classical guitar, he was largely self-taught before having lessons with Robert Mackillop at Napier University, Edinburgh.

All the warmth, colour and expressive richness one could hope for‘— Gramophone

Whilst at Napier he turned his attentions to playing the lute and pursued this as his principal study at the Royal College of Music, London, with Jakob Lindberg. Having added the theorbo to his expanding instrument collection, Jamie completed his studies at Trinity College of Music, London, studying with Jacob Heringman and David Miller, with additional lessons and advice from Paul O’Dette and Elizabeth Kenny.

‘Most memorable…extremely well played’ — David Mellor, Classic FM

Settled on the period-instrument path, Jamie continued accumulating instruments and exploring the music of the 16th to 19th centuries, with occasional forays into contemporary music.

Following a Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music Jamie began pursuing a varied professional career. As a soloist, he has performed throughout Europe, in the Middle East and Australia. He has given recitals at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ullapool Guitar Festival, Classical Guitar Retreat, Exeter Guitar Festival, the Yorke Music Trust, the Italian Cultural Institute, the L’Oratoire de Lourve, Lake Garda Festival and the Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival along with various festivals, galleries and stately homes throughout the UK.

‘Considerable virtuosity…revelatory and engaging’ — Early Music Review

Jamie has accompanied leading singers including Dame Emma Kirkby, Miriam Allan, Claire Wilkinson, and Jake Arditti and is the staff accompanist for the John Kerr memorial song prize. He has performed with many early music ensembles such as I Fagiolini, Ex Cathedra, Stile Antico, the Marian Consort, Fretwork, Chelys Viol Consort, The Rose Consort of Viols, The Parley of Instruments, Solomon’s Knot, The Hanover Band, The Brook Street Band, Sounds Baroque and the Dunedin Consort.

‘The great Scottish guitarist…. a wonderful and attractive program….lilting and sonorous  requiring some virtuosity’ — Classical Guitar Magazine

As a continuo player Jamie has worked for major opera companies, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Longborough Festival Opera and Innsbruck Festival Opera and orchestras and chamber groups including The Scottish, Irish and English Chamber Orchestras, Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Ulster Orchestra, The Essen Philharmonie, The Scottish Ensemble, with trumpeter Alison Balsom, and ventured into indie folk-rock with Damon Albarn.

‘Akers is a pedigreed and iconoclastic artist, a musical polyglot…he brings a conscientious and scholarly approach….. has considerable abilities….boldness and great musical understanding.’ — Soundboard Scholar

Jamie has performed on numerous recordings; a few film soundtracks; several theatrical stages, including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Barbican, and broadcast for the BBC, France Musique and RTE Lyric, Ireland, and has been an artist in residence with the renowned Scottish Ensemble.

Demonstrates great musicality and an awesome technique’ Early Music Review

Although concentrating on performing and teaching, Jamie has expanded his repertoire considerably through research, exploring the domestic music-making of Samuel Pepys and his ‘musical secretary’ Cesare Morelli, the polyphony of Scottish Renaissance composer David Peebles; the use of Scottish melodies by European guitarist composers at the beginning of the 19th century and the works of neglected women guitarist composers of the 19th century.

‘Subtle, colorful……most wonderfully delicate and engaging’Early Music America

This research has resulted in several solo recordings including Thesaurus HarmonicasEuropean lute music released in 2012 and available through this website, The Soldier’s Return, romantic guitar music associated with Scotland available on Resonus Classics and Le Donne e la Chitarra: Music for guitar by 19th-century women composers, released in November 2018 on the Drama Musica label, featuring premiere recordings of works by Emilia Giuliani, Catharina Pratten, and Athénaïs Paulian.

Demonstrates great musicality and an awesome technique’ Early Music Review

Jamie lectures in early plucked strings at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and teaches annually on the Renaissance Music Week course in Ejstrupholm, Denmark. He has also taught or given masterclasses at, The Royal College of Music, London; The Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and The Rostov Conservatoire, Russia.

‘Sensitive accompanying…. Akers’ nimble playing showed the intricacies of the music as he subtly shifted the moods and tempi’ — The Herald

‘The ever-impressive James Akers…’— Early Music Today