Praised by the Chicago Tribune for his "subtle, detailed precision," James Baur
is among an exciting generation of musicians in Chicago. Born in 1976, he was constantly exposed
to a variety of musical styles as a result of his parents: his father is a composer, his mother a flutist. After beginning his
musical studies on the violin, he turned his attention to
the guitar at the age of 12. Throughout high school in Memphis,
Tennessee he studied with the prominent guitarist Lily
In 1999 he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Northwestern University,
under the direction of Anne Waller.
While at Northwestern, he was selected to perform
in the masterclasses of Oscar Ghiglia, Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, Paul O'Dette
and Scott Tenant. He is currently a Doctoral Student in
Guitar Performance at Northwestern University, with a special
focus on the 10-string guitar music of Maurice Ohana.
He was awarded First Prize in Guitar in the 1998 Society of American Musicians
Competition. In 2000 he was selected to perform on both the Chicago
Classical Guitar Society's Local Artist Showcase and The Friends
of the Windows Second Saturday Concert Series, on which he was invited
to perform again in 2001.
In February 2001 he premiered his father John Baur's Etudes
for Guitar and Songs of Love for Soprano and Guitar
at the Imagine Festival in Memphis, Tennessee,
and has performed with Ensemble Noamnesia and Northwestern
University's Contemporary Music Ensemble in Chicago.
In 2003 he gave World Premiere performances for Chicago composers
Bjorn Berkhout and Robert McDonald, and played the electric
guitar in Virgil Moorefield's Premiere performance of his ensemble work Things You
Must do to Get into Heaven in November 2003. In
March 2004 he performed fa/sil by Bjorn Berkhout
at the New Music Festival at Western Illinois University
in Macomb, Illinois. In April 2005, he was invited to give a solo performance for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series
in the Chicago Cultural Center. Since 2007, he has given Chicago premieres of pieces by Israeli composer Ari Shapira, Chicagoan Seth
Boustead, and Finnish composer Tomi Raisanen, among others.
He is a member of The
Avanti Duo, a flute and guitar duo with flutist Kim Sopata, and the MAVerick Ensemble, directed by Chicago composer and 'cellist William Jason Raynovich.
His most recent CD is Made of String, an eclectic blend of styles and composers;
with another planned for 2011 featuring Chicago-area composers, including Bjorn Berkhout, Alan Cole, Julia Miller, Jesse Langen,
Paul Failla, Robert Lombardo, and others.
Also active as a teacher, he is on the faculty of Lake Forest College,
Music Institute of Chicago, The Barrington Suzuki School, and