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Composer-pianist from South Africa, James Wilding was born in Johannesburg in 1973 and grew up in Cape Town. He received a Bachelor of Music (distinction in performance) and Master of Music (distinction in composition) from the University of Cape Town, another Master of Music (performance) from Youngstown State University, and a PhD (composition and theory) from Kent State University. He studied piano with Neil Solomon, a pupil of Lili Kraus. Other teachers were Stewart Young, Peter Klatzow, and Thomas Janson; He has also worked with Lamar Crowson, George Crumb, Brandt Fredriksen, Wilfrid Hiller, Vladimir Viardo, and Frank Wiley.
Wilding has written more than sixty orchestral, choral, chamber, and solo piano works. His Etude for solo piano was prescribed for the UNISA-Transnet International Piano Competition. The piano piece, Poem, was prescribed for the Hennie Joubert National Competition in South Africa. He won the Oude Meester Prize for South African composers and was commissioned to write his String Trio. Potchefstroom University’s Chancellor’s Trust Prize was bestowed upon him and the result was slaap klein beminde for soprano and piano trio. Various other awards have been associated with works such as Barbaric Dance for orchestra, Mayan Rites for two pianos and percussion; and the chamber cantata Lot’s Wife. Wilding often writes for his wife, Caroline Oltmanns - amoungst her pieces have been the Greek Goddesses for piano and symphonic wind ensemble.
James Wilding’s work has been performed in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Senegal, Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland, Britain, Canada, and the USA; and published by The American Composer’s Alliance, Clear Note Publications, the Foundation for the Creative Arts, and the University of South Africa. His compositions have been broadcast on Fine Music Radio (Cape Town), SAFM (Johannesburg), and KKGO (Los Angeles).
Wilding is an active pianist, performing regularly as a soloist and chamber musician. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and lectures in composition and theory at the University of Akron.