James Hardie

ARTFORMS: Organ , Music


James was born into a creative family.  His father teaches violin and the family also run a small press, publishing Scottish and classical music.

From the age of nine, James knew that music was the path he wanted to pursue.  As a chorister in Edinburgh, he learned to play the organ and through this displayed a high level of musicality, intelligence and dedication.  His dream was to gain an organ scholarship to study at Oxford University.  In 2012 he realised this ambition and gained a prized scholarship to Keble College.

How the Award Helped

James received a Dewar Arts Award to support his studies, enabling him to accept his place at Oxford.

Since the Award

2013: Having passed the first year of his course with Distinction, James was awarded an academic scholarship by his college. He has proved himself to be an active member of the musical life of the college, directing choirs and chamber ensembles as well as planning and directing a five-day Early Music Festival.

James now intends to pursue a career that allows him to combine academic work with practical musicianship.  He hopes to undertake a masters in Musicology and a doctorate that would allow him to go into teaching and research at university level.


The Award has made it financially possible to study at my chosen institution, and with this I have had the freedom to take full advantage of the vast range of possibilities open to a musician both in Oxford, and further afield; possibilities I believe would not exist elsewhere. For this I am hugely grateful.