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.’ Throughout a varied career, Jamie has explored various genres of music from a historical and stylistic perspective, combining diligent research with expressive playing to communicate the continuity of musical endeavour through the centuries.
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 classical guitar, he was largely self-taught before having lessons with Robert Mackillop at Napier University, Edinburgh. Whilst at Napier he turned his attentions to playing the lute and pursued this, at the Royal College of Music, studying with Jakob Lindberg. Adding theorbo to his expanding instrument collection, Jamie continued his studies at Trinity College of Music with Jacob Heringman and David Miller with additional lessons and advice from Paul O’Dette and Elizabeth Kenny. Having 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 giving recitals at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ullapool Guitar Festival, Classical Guitar Retreat, Exeter Guitar Festival, the Yorke Music Trust, in the L'Oratoire de Lourve, and the Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival, along with numerous family concerts for Bach to Baby, performances for inmates for the Scottish Prison Service and in various galleries and stately homes throughout the UK:
He has accompanied leading singers including Dame Emma Kirkby, James Laing, Miriam Allan, Claire Wilkinson and Jake Arditti and is the staff accompanist for the John Kerr memorial song prize. Jamie has performed with many early music ensembles such as I Fagiolini, Ex Cathedra, Stile Antico, Fretwork, Chelys Viol Consort, The Rose Consort of Viols, The Parley of Instruments, The Hanover Band, Sounds Baroque and the Dunedin Consort.
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.
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.
Although mostly 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, how Scottish melodies were used by European guitarist composers at the beginning of the 19th century and the works of neglected women guitarist composers of the 19th century,
Jamie is a lecturer in early plucked strings at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and teaches annually on the Renaissance Music Week course in Ejstrupholm, Denmark.
Jamie's debut solo CD Thesaurus Harmonicus was released in 2012 and is available through this website, his second The Soldier's Return of romantic guitar music associated with Scotland is available on Resonus records.
A third, entitled Le Donne e la Chitarra: music for guitar by 19th century women composers is due out in 2018 featuring premiere recordings of works by Emilia Giuliani, Catharina Pratten and Athénaïs Paulian.