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"With his piano lid fully raised, Rice supported Gold with perfect balance while tossing off the composer's far from undemanding twists and turns. Both brought out the almost operatic melancholy of the second movement..Gold and Rice took every opportunity to exult in the playful high spirits of the Finale.

Gold and Rice gave a magnificent interpretation of Clarke's gorgeous and truly remarkable sonata...Rice spun the Impressionist episodes flawlessly. A highlight for me occurred in the second movement, with Gold's muted viola pp above Rice's eerie rippling piano accompaniment...Both artists then brought out the mercurial splendor of the Finale...Now fiery and brilliant, now soothing and reflective."

--William Thomas Walker (CVNC) May 22, 2019

"[Rice] kept the accompaniment p or pp when it supported the cello but unleashed it when the cello rested...Balance between Rice's keyboard and Wissick's cello was ideal...Wissick and Rice perfectly brought out the sense of a twenty-year-old [Kurt Well] seeking his own style as rich Strauss-like passages mixed with whiffs of Impressionism.


The buildup to an ecstatic high at the end of the first movement was beautifully conveyed as was Weill's early use of jazz idioms in the second movement. Wissick had prefaced the piece by calling the "grotesque" final movement "the Bar scene!" Both players pulled out all the stops, building or staggering to a "fuzzy" end...I heartily recommend attending any future programs presented by these two fine musicians."

--William Thomas Walker (CVNC) November 28, 2018

James Rice has “...exceptional technique, such mastery of varying colors..., great understanding of the composers' intent(s) and a maturity in his music that belies his years! Not to mention such sensitive ensemble playing.”

--​Jenny Anderson, Director of Music at the United Church of Chapel Hill


A "beautiful musicality and a special communicative ability”

​--Fay Adams, Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the University of Tennessee


"James taught piano to both of my children for several years and I highly recommend him. He has extensive experience with children of all ages, and understands how to work with them in developmentally appropriate ways. He is enthusiastic and energetic, and makes lessons fun even for reluctant learners. Most impressive to me, as a former pianist myself, is his ability to teach both the mechanics of healthy piano technique and the art of musical expression in a way that fully integrates these two aspects of the instrument. James' students learn not just how to play the piano, but how to make music."

--Anne, MD Child and Adult Psychiatrist


"We have always been extremely happy with James's teaching methods, optimism and ability to create a fun and inspiring learning environment. We would recommend him as an instructor to those looking into piano lessons."


"As an adult student taking piano lessons for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive about beginning lessons (!), but working with James has been an ideal experience, and I could not have hoped for a better teacher. In the beginning, he listened to my goals and asked about the type of music that I like and want to play. He then tailored a course of study specifically for me that includes piano technique, repertoire building, sight reading, and music theory--all the while incorporating pieces that I find exciting and challenging. In addition to being a wonderful musician who brings a wealth of knowledge to each lesson, James is extremely professional and an absolute joy to work with. I feel very fortunate to learn from him and give him my highest recommendation."

--Deondra, Assistant Professor at Duke University

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