James Crabb

Classical Accordion

James Crabb

Internationally praised for his breathtaking virtuosity and versatile musicianship, Scottish born James Crabb is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading classical accordionists. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen with accordion pioneer Mogens Ellegaard. James became professor there from 1995 until 2010, and was awarded the prestigious Carl Nielsen Music Prize, Denmark in 1991. He also held a long-standing guest professorship at the University in Graz, Austria. James.

James has collaborated with some of the most important composers of the last 50 years including Sofia Gubaidulina, Thomas Adès, Harrison Birtwistle, Sally Beamish, Luciano Berio and has premiered countless concertos, chamber music and solo works dedicated to him. He is also recognised internationally as an authority on the music of Astor Piazzolla and was invited to curate the inaugural Piazzolla Festival in Buenos Aires in 2016. In 2019 James gave the world premiere of Brett Dean’s accordion concerto The Players in Sweden, (recorded on the BIS label). He has also featured in the on-stage role in Dean’s opera Hamlet with Cologne Opera and the Bavarian State Opera, Munich, a role he will reprise for Opera Australia in 2024. Further projects next year will see James also return to the ACO, numerous music festivals in Australia and the UK and once again collaborate with the Australia Ensemble.

James has recorded for several labels including Chandos, EMI Classics, BIS, ABC Classics, Simax, Dacapo.

A passionate and sought-after music educator and mentor, James collaborates regularly with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian National Academy of Music, Freedman Fellowship Trust, Australian Youth Orchestra, Music Viva as well as music conservatories and universities in Australia and abroad. He was Artistic Director of the Four Winds Festival in Bermagui, NSW, from 2016 – 2020 during which time he curated both the annual Easter and inaugural Youth Festivals and developed the music education programs in local schools.


Queensland Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which the Orchestra works, plays, and creates music, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.