The American harpsichordist, pianist, fortepianist, and teacher, James (Merle) Weaver, was educated at the University of Illinois (B.A., 1961; M.M., 1963), where he received instruction in harpsichord from George Hunter. He also was a student of Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam in 1957-1959.
In 1967 James Weaver became Associate Curator of the Division of Musical Instruments, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C (National Museum of History and Technology), in charge of performances bases on the rich diversity of the museumís collections. In 1976 he co-founded and became musical director of the Smithsonian Chamber Players, a group performing exclusively on 18th century instruments, which has recently completed its third national tour.
James Weaver has taught and performed regularly at Cornell University as Visiting Lecturer in Music. He has also taught at the American University, and has given master-classes in 18th-cenrury performance practice. As a keyboard player he performs primarily as a harpsichordist, and appears with increasing frequency with the fortepiano. He has participated in numerous award-winning recordings of instruments from the Smithsonian collections, included on the following labels: Nonesuch, Cambridge, Musical Heritage, and the Smithsonian Collection.