James Brown
James Brown



James Brown began his formal musical training as organ scholar of Girton College, Cambridge University, before continuing his studies at the Geneva Conservatoire, Switzerland. Following two years working as an organist and pianist in Texas, USA, James returned to the UK, and currently lives in Oxford, where he combines his work as a classical pianist and accompanist with being Organist of the historic University Church of St Mary the Virgin, with its professional choir.

As a recitalist James has given solo concerts in the USA, Belgium, Switzerland, and the UK, and performed on both BBC television and radio, and on several commercial recordings. For several years James has performed on the Swan Hellenic and Fred Olsen cruise lines and has travelled to many destinations all over the world, both as a solo pianist as well as accompanist to the cellist Austen Scully, the clarinettist, Rhodri Morgan, and various opera singers.

For Swan Hellenic James is also pianist and leader of the opera quartet Opera del Mare, which regularly appears onboard for concerts and choral workshops. He is responsible for booking the classical musicians as well as choosing the programme content which is tailored to the destination of each cruise.

As an accompanist James has played for many classical musicians of note including the singers Sarah Connolly, Rodney King, and Ed Lyon, and the trumpeter Crispin Steele-Perkins, as well as a recent residency in Darjeeling, India with award winning cabaret artist and singer, Sarah-Louise Young.



James Brown piano hands


Browse through these sample programmes from recent cruises.

Solo Piano


Debussy Reverie
Chopin Nocturne in E Minor
Chopin Waltz in C Sharp Minor
Faure Improvisation
Grieg Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
Aaron Copland Saturday Night Waltz, from ‘Rodeo’
Schubert Scherzo in B Flat Major
Charles Wesley Variations on ‘God Save The King’
Cello and Piano

“The Romantic Cello”
Highlights of cello repertoire from the 19th century

Camille Saint-Saëns Allegro Appassionato
Franz Schubert

Allegro Appassionato
i. Allegro moderato
ii. Adagio

Felix Mendelssohn Lied ohne Worte (opus 109)
Antonin Dvorák Klid – Waldesruhe (“Silent Woods”)
Robert Schumann Träumeri
Operatic trio

Songs of the Sea

Mozart Soave sia il vento (Cosi fan tutte)
Elgar Where Corals Lie (Sea Pictures)
Britten Tom Bowling
John Ireland Sea Fever
Kurt Weill My Ship
Hely-Hutchinson The Owl and the Pussycat
Sondheim By the Sea (Sweeny Todd)
Gilbert & Sullivan Fair Moon to Thee I Sing (HMS Pinafore)
Gilbert & Sullivan The Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance)
Gilbert & Sullivan Never Mind the Why and Wherefore (HMS Pinafore)
Clarinet and Piano

The Classical Clarinet

Baermann Adagio
Mozart Concerto 1st and 2nd movements
Saint Saens Sonata 1st movement
Bach/Gounod Ave maria (encore)

The Clarinet Virtuoso

Weber Concertino
Jorg Widmann Fantasie for Solo Clarinet
Giampieri Carnival of Venice
Brahms Waltz in A flat (piano solo)
Brahms Sonata in F Minor ‘Vivace’ (4th Movement)
Rimsky Korsakov Flight of the bumble bee

The Easy Listening Clarinet

Ravel Piece en forme De Habanera
Saint Saens The Swan
Handel Largo (Xerxes)
Debussy The girl with the flaxen hair
Massenet Meditation
Satie Gymnopedie (Piano solo)
Schumann Traumeri
Benjamin Jamaican Rumba
Carmichael Georgia On My Mind

“A mid-Atlantic crossing”

Finzi Selection from Five Bagatelles
Gershwin Summertime
Acker Bilk Stranger on the Shore
McDowell To a wild rose (Piano solo)
Horowitz Sonatina second movement
Reade A Victorian Kitchen Garden


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