James Crabb studied at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music at Copenhagen in 1985 under the renowned accordionist Mogens Ellegaard and subsequently won several contemporary music competitions including the Gaudeamus Interpreters Concour in Holland, the Sir James Caird Trust's Instrumentalist award and the Carl Nielsen Music Scholarship. In the UK he caught the imagination of several musical trusts including the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Tillett Trust who have made substantial financial awards to him.
A well-known figure in Scandinavia, James Crabb has also given recitals in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Middleburg Festival and at the ISCM International Music Week in Amsterdam. Orchestral engagements have included concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the Tivoli Orchestra in Copenhagen, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a very successful tour with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta.
He holds two teaching posts, one in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and one in Graz where he is guest professor at the Graz Hochschule für Musik. He is also a regular visitor to the Dartington International Summer School.