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Portrait of Professor John Bryan Professor John Bryan | 01484 472749


John Bryan was appointed to the University of Huddersfield as Principal Lecturer and Performance Leader in 1994, was Head of Music and Drama from 2005 to 2014 and was awarded a Professorship for his practice-led research in 2007. He studied at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of York, and has developed a career that encompasses performance, research and teaching in equal measure. Before his appointment at Huddersfield, John was Senior Lecturer in Music at the College of Ripon & York St John, and a Visiting Fellow in Music at the University of York. He was also a visiting tutor in early music at the Universities of York, Leeds and Hull, founded the North East Early Music Forum and still coaches performance regularly at Dartington International Summer School, and for Little Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin. He has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2008.

As a performer, John is a versatile 'early' musician working with many leading ensembles since the 1970s, including the Rose Consort of Viols, Musica Antiqua of London, I Fagiolini and the Consort of Musicke, with whom he has made many CD and radio recordings, and appeared at international festivals in USA, Canada and throughout Europe. He plays viols, Renaissance woodwind (recorders, crumhorns, shawms, dulcians) and harpsichord, and regularly directs and conducts early music performances. John has contributed to a range of programmes on BBC Radios 3 and 4 was for many years a member of the Early Music Network Committee.

His musical interests are not confined to early music: as conductor of York Chamber Orchestra John has performed in every style from Handel and Bach to Stravinsky and Gorecki, and has also conducted performances of Mozart's ‘Die Zauberflöte’ and Britten's ‘Albert Herring’ for York Opera. With University of Huddersfield forces he has conducted Bach’s ‘St John Passion’, Blow’s ‘Venus and Adonis’, Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and ‘The Fairy Queen’, Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and symphonic repertory from Haydn to Elgar.

Research & Scholarship

John Bryan is the Principal Investigator for a five-year AHRC-funded (£268,000) research project into 'The Making of the Viol in Sixteenth Century England' which runs from 2009 to 2014. Please go to for detailed information about this project. John’s research covers many aspects of the performance of renaissance and early baroque music, but he has a particular interest in the relationship between voices and instruments, and the way in which understanding singing can inform instrumental performance. His outputs include articles for journals including ‘Early Music’ and ‘The Journal of Musicology’, conference papers and some 40 CDs of performances using historically appropriate instruments.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Bryan, J (2014) Mynstrelles with Straunge Sounds [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2014) Serenissima: Music from Renaissance Europe on Venetian Viols [Audio]

Bryan, J (2014) Adoramus Te: Motets, songs and consort music by William Byrd and Peter Philips [Audio]


Bryan, J (2013) ‘'Full of Art, and Profundity': The Five-Part Consort Pavan as a Medium for Sophiosticated Musical Expression and Compositional Cross-Reference in Late Renaissance England' in 'Networks of Music and Culture in the Late Sixteenth and Early Secenteenth Centuries’. In: Networks of Music and Culture in the Late Sixteenth and Early Secenteenth Centuries'. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. pp. 203-214. ISBN 9781472411983

Bryan, J (2013) BBC Radio 3 The Early Music Show [Audio]

Bryan, J (2013) BBC Radio 3 In Tune [Audio]

Bryan, J (2013) Vlaamse Radio: Dowland 'Lachrimae' Pavans [Audio]

Bryan, J (2013) ‘'Their last foile and polishment': aspects of compositional refinement in the consort dances of Dowland and HolborneEarly Music , 41 (2), pp. 219-237. ISSN 0306-1078

Bryan, J (2013) A Variety of Viols [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2013) Semana de Musica Religiosa, Cuenca, Spain: Gesualdo and Raval [Performance]


Bryan, J (2012) Rose Consort of Viols: 'A European Grand Tour' [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2012) Rose Consort of Viols: 'Fair Britain Isle' [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2012) An Emerald in a Work of Gold [Audio]

Bryan, J (2012) Competing, Consenting, Consorting [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2012) Striggio: Missa Ecco si beato giorno/Tallis Spem in alium [Performance]

Bryan, J (2012) Songs and Cries by Orlando Gibbons [Performance]

Bryan, J (2012) Teares and Lamentacions: Music for the death of Prince Henry [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2012) An Emerald in a Work of Gold: Music from the Dow Partbooks [Audio]


Bryan, J (2011) Musicke to content every humour [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2011) The World Tonight [Audio]

Bryan, J (2011) Music and Politics in the Life of Cosimo de' Medici [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2011) The Early Music Show [Audio]

Bryan, J (2011) An Emerald in a Work of Gold [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2011) Peter Philips and his Musical Circle [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2011) Alessandro Striggio: Missa Ecco si beato giorno in 40 parts [Audio]

Bryan, J (2011) ‘Extended Play: Reflections of Heinrich Isaac's Music in Early Tudor EnglandThe Journal of Musicology , 28 (1), pp. 118-141. ISSN 0277-9269


Bryan, J (2010) American Garden/English Roses [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2010) Composed after the Italian vaine [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2010) Alpha and Omega [Audio]


Bryan, J (2009) Divisions, Ayres and Fancies [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2009) From Bologna to Britannia [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2009) Henry Purcell Fantazias and In Nomines [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2009) Celebrating Henry Purcell [Audio]

Bryan, J (2009) Ayres & Fancies [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2009) ‘Ayres & Fancies’: Purcell’s incomparable fantazias, with songs by Dowland & Byrd [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2009) London Street Cries [Performance] (Unpublished)


Bryan, J (2008) ‘Trickling Tears and Ruthless Rage’: Elizabethan Dramatic Songs, Dances & Fantasias [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) ‘Lullaby, my sweet little baby’: Elizabethan & Jacobean Music for Christmas [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Songs without Words [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) The Swan and the Nightingale [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Sweet Delightful Ayres and Sublime Discourses [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Trickling Tears and Ruthless Rage [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Three Britons in Brussels [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Trickling Tears and Ruthless Rage [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Renaissance Choral Music: works by Allegri, Palestrina, and Byrd [Audio]

Bryan, J (2008) Trickling Tears and Ruthless Rage [Performance] (Unpublished)

Bryan, J (2008) Four Gentleman of the Chapel Royal [Audio]

Bryan, J (2008) ‘'Verie sweete and artificiall': Lorenzo Costa and the earliest violsEarly Music , 36 (1), pp. 3-18. ISSN 03061078


Bryan, J. and Bott, C. (2007) William Byrd: Loyal Servant of the Crown and Devout Catholic [Audio]

Bryan, J (2007) Lullaby, my Sweet Little Baby [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) Perfect and Sweet Harmony [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) Songs without Words: Consort Music from the Age of Elizabeth I [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) Four Gentleman of the Chapel Royal [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) Four Gentleman of the Chapel Royal [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) English Anthems and Consort Music for Voices and Viols [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) William Byrd and his English precursors [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) William Byrd: loyal servant of the Crown and devout Catholic [Performance] (Submitted)

Bryan, J (2007) ‘Not unlike a confused singing of birds in a grove: An Introduction to the In NomineViol (6), pp. 15-19.


Bryan, J (2004) Madame d’Amours – Songs, Dances & Consort Music for the Six Wives of Henry VIII [Composition]

Bryan, J (2004) A Songbook for Isabella: music from the circle of Isabella d’Este [Composition]


Bryan, J (2003) Alfonso Ferrabosco [Composition]

Bryan, J (2003) Upon a Bank with Roses [Composition]

Bryan, J (n.d.) Performing Dowland: Dance Music, Songs and 'Lachrimae' Pavans [Performance] (Unpublished)


Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College Member, 2009-

Academic Council External Member for Research, Royal Northern College of Music, 2011-

External Examiner, MA in Music, University of York, 2011-

External examiner for postgraduate performance in viol, Trinity Laban College, 2008

External examiner, PhD, Birmingham Conservatoire, 2009

External examiner, MPhil, University of York, 2010

Regular contributions to BBC Radio 3 The Early Music Show and other programmes

Performances broadcast by BBC, Wesdeutscher Rundfunk, Canadian Broadcasting Company

Chair: NCEM International Young Artists’ Competition, 2008

Research Degree Supervision

Instruments, particularly viols, and their music in England 1500-1650

Relationships between vocal and instrumental music in the Renaissance

The viol and its repertory, 1500-1750

Historical performance practice in music

Enterprise Activities

John Bryan acts as Artistic Adviser to York Early Music Festival (since 1977): developing policy, devising festival themes and selecting artists and programmes for the UK’s premier festival of historically informed music.

Administrative Responsibilities

John Bryan represents Music on the School Accreditation and Validation Panel, and is a member of the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Committee

Teaching and Professional Activities

John Bryan contributes to the teaching and assessment of modules dealing with the preparation and presentation of performance in both the BMus (Hons) and MMus in Music courses and in PhD supervision. He also contributes to musicology teaching, particularly dealing with Renaissance music, editing and transcription, and historical performance, and is particularly interested in the interface between musicology and performance, which leads to a deeper awareness of historically informed stylistic practice. He conducts the University of Huddersfield Chamber Choir and directs the University Early Music Ensemble, and also regularly conducts the University Choir and Orchestra. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Last updated Thursday 6 March 2014
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