Dr James Westbrook BSc MA PhD (Cantab) DipMus FLCM MRI


  • Research Staff, CU Faculty of Music
  • Consultant, Brompton’s, Mayfair

James is a British-based organologist whose particular interest is in guitar construction. He is the author of two popular books: Guitars through the Ages (2002) and The Century that Shaped the Guitar (2006) as well as co-author of The Complete Illustrated book of the Acoustic Guitar (2012). In 2009 James achieved The London Metropolitan University Recognition Award for Academic Excellence, and the following year, through Wolfson College, he was awarded the O’May studentship, for his Doctoral research in to Guitar Making in Nineteenth-Century London at the University of Cambridge.

James is a Trustee, Committee member and Section Secretary of Springboard (Brighton & Hove Performing Arts Festival), a charitable organization for music, dance, speech and drama. With respect to this, in 2009 he was awarded for 25 years voluntary service by The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance & Speech. He is a consultant for Brompton’s, auction-house and a part-time luthier and restorer.

Currently he holds a Wolfson College Research Fellowship; investigating the life and work of the musical instrument maker David ‘Jose’ Rubio.