Sydney born pianist James Guan showed musical promise from a very early age and began learning the piano accordion at the age of 6 before changing to piano at the age of 7. He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Primary School as well as the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School before completing his BMus in performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Dr Paul Rickard-Ford. During his studies at the Conservatorium he was the recipient of the both Vimpani and Bessie Cook Scholarship and the Nugawela Scholarship.

He then went to study at the Royal Academy of Music, completing his Master of Arts with Distinction under Ian Fountain and received the Greta Parkinson Prize. His studies in London were made possible by a scholarship from the Academy and was also supported by the Tait Memorial Trust, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Theme and Variations Foundation and the Australian Music Foundation. 


James was the winner of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Concerto Competition in his first year of studies and has since gone on to win major prizes in numerous competitions both within Australia as well as internationally. Including the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, the Kerikeri International Piano Competition, the International Competition Piana del Cavaliere, the Clamo International Piano Competition and represented the Royal Academy of Music in the Finals of Jaques Samuels Intercollegiate Piano Competition. He was also the Winner of the Best Australian Award at the Sydney International Piano Competition, the Great Romantics Competition in Melbourne, the Most Outstanding Recitalist in the Theme and Variations Emerging Artists Series and also the recipient of the John Allison/Henderson Scholarship and Henderson Travel Scholarship.


James frequently performs solo recitals and has performed in Australia, New Zealand, China, UK, Spain and Italy in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney City Recital Hall and St John’s Smith Square. He has also performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Tait Chamber Orchestra in London, Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.


Outside of music James has a keen interest in many things, including but not limited to traveling, food (both cooking and eating) and solving Rubik’s cubes.