Dr. James has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who as a leader in the field of musical performance
GRASS VALLEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / January 7, 2020 / Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present R. Aileen James with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. James celebrates many years’ experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
A concert pianist focused on music history and education, R. Aileen James, DMA, was a child prodigy. Her earliest memories are the pre-war years living in a little town in Tennessee where her father had a small hospital. He would play hymns on their Chickering Spinet, and at the age of 2 Aileen would join him to play the melodies, using both hands at 3. Her mother learned of a piano teacher in a nearby town and enrolled Aileen in her class for pre-school children (parents not allowed to stay). At her first recital at Christmastime, she watched the other students perform their pieces from memory. Not yet taught at their level, she sat down and improvised her own three-part piece with both hands. When asked its title, she responded: “I haven’t named it yet.”
After the family moved to Southern California during the war and studying with Mae Gilbert Reese in Hollywood, Aileen began performing at the age of 8. At 15 she made her professional debut performing Tchaikovsky’s Concerto #1 with orchestra at the Los Angeles Wilshire Ebel Theater receiving excellent reviews. Mrs. Reese’s inspiring teaching methods and attention to the individuality of her students was emulated by Aileen throughout her life.
Dr. James pursued a formal education at Pacific Union College in Angwin, California, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1958. She returned in 1967 where she earned a Master of Arts degree in piano performance and music history, joining the music faculty in 1969 through 1974. During that time, she completed post-graduate studies in music history and performance at the University of Southern California the summer of 1973. She also studied privately with Julian White in Berkeley, California, who encouraged her to apply to Stanford University for more graduate study. She was accepted to Stanford in 1976 on a full scholarship that included piano studies with Adolph Baller. Two years into her studies she was hired as an assistant professor at Santa Clara University and received the Doctor of Musical Arts from Stanford in 1981. Later in 1984 she moved with her husband to Indiana and from 1986 to 1997 was the Artistic Director of the American Pianists Association, managing the selection and promotion of American pianists ages 18-30. Active in the local community, Dr. James was guest lecturer at Butler University and educational chairman of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. James returned her home state in 1997 and settled in Grass Valley, an active arts-focused community. She has served on the boards of Music in the Mountains and InConcert Sierra, and for the latter she writes the program notes and interviews the artists. After the years of performing as soloist and accompanist in chamber music throughout the United States, Central America, Austria and France, she now conducts a once-a-month class from September to June in her home for 10 “adults who don’t want to perform.”
To keep updated on trends in her field, Dr. James maintains involvement in the Music Teachers National Association, the American College of Musicians and Pi Kappa Lambda. A recipient of the coveted Albert Nelson lifetime Achievement Award, she was also awarded a Key to the City of Indianapolis in 1993 and named an honorary citizen in 1997. She is also a proud mother of three wonderful children, Thomas, Tamara, and Terese, plus 6 grandchildren and one great-grandson. She enjoys traveling, reading, culinary arts, and family and friends.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to her profession and the Marquis Who’s Who community, Dr. James has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
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Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who’s Who in America®, Marquis Who’s Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who’s Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who’s Who® website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.
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