James Boyd

James Boyd

James Boyd

Viola player James Boyd is widely recognized as one of Britain's finest chamber musicians. In 2001 he formed the London Haydn Quartet and is a regular guest with ensembles such as the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.


    James Boyd is widely recognized as one of Britain’s finest chamber musicians. After studying at the Yehudi Menuhin School he became a member of the Raphael Ensemble and was a founder member of the Vellinger String Quartet, which won the 1994 London International String Quartet Competition. In 2001 he formed the London Haydn Quartet, which has been acclaimed for its highly individual stylistic approach: the quartet uses gut strings and Classical bows, and has made a particular speciality of the works of Haydn and Beethoven.

    Boyd has played as a regular guest with such ensembles as the Endellion and Fitzwilliam String Quartets, the Nash Ensemble and Arcangelo, and has been invited to many international chamber-music festivals, including Lofoten, Kaposvár, Lockenhaus, Korsholm and Kempten. He played in the Ludwig String Trio with Paul Watkins and the late Peter Cropper, and in 2015 collaborated with Vilde Frang, Nicolas Altstaedt and Alexander Lonquich in a European piano-quartet tour. Gramophone pronounced his recording of the viola music of York Bowen, with the pianist Bengt Forsberg, ‘a gem of a disc!’

    In 2001 Boyd co-founded MusicWorks, a chamber-music course for young string players and pianists from which many chamber ensembles have emerged. He also teaches chamber music at the University of Cambridge, the Banff Centre and Domaine Forget (Quebec). He writes occasional articles for the Strad, is a passionate amateur recording producer and engineer, and designs and constructs high-end audio equipment with horns and valves.