"James Johnstone bets everything on his personal style, which he can frankly afford […] His statement is sovereign, mastering the subject and dealing with irresistible momentum. Energy is, however, never an excuse to overlook the countless nooks cleverly built by Bach. Johnstone has a meticulous ear and a technique capable of translating his finest intentions."
(Translated from French; Xavier Bisaro for Diapason, September 2016)
"[...] but I gained more from Johnstone’s vivid and sparkling performance on an excellently recorded, crystal-clear organ that was new to me. The choice of instrument, how susceptible it is to being recorded with clarity, how well the performer understands the conventions of registration on a historic instrument – all these are vital for successful interpretation, however fine the player."
(David Stancliffe for Early Music Review, June 2016)
The harpsichordist and organist, James Johnstone, enjoys a varied musical life working mainly within the period instrument world.
After studying in London and Holland, James Johnstone has forged career as recitalist, chamber musician, continuo player and teacher. He is a member of a number of ensembles, currently Trio Sonnerie, Harmonie Universelle (Köln), I Furiosi (Toronto) and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra.
As a recitalist he has performed in Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Israel, Equador, Colombia and the United States of America.
James Johnstone appears on 22 recordings on Deutsche Grammophon with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, 10 discs with Florilegium, and has recorded six solo discs of works by Blow, Gibbons, E Pasquini, Cornet, Elizabethan Virginalists, a Bach organ recital (Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam) and Bach’s Clavier-Übung Part III (Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim).
James is professor of Early Keyboards at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.