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:: Biography


John Potter's musical collaborators include lutenist Ariel Abramovich, the Dowland Project, Red Byrd, the Gavin Bryars Ensemble and the composer Ambrose Field. With fellow tenors Christopher O'Gorman and Rogers Covey-Crump he is a part of the Hyperion/University of Southampton Conductus Project. A writer and scholar as well as a singer, he has published four books on singing and is a former British Library Edison Fellow. He is Reader Emeritus in Music at the University of York, having left the university in 2010 to focus on his portfolio of freelance projects. His non-performing activities have included publishing articles and research papers, examining doctoral theses in Europe and the UK and coaching ensembles in Europe and the USA.


John's eclectic performing experience has ranged from first performances of works by Berio, Stockhausen, James Dillon, Arvo Pärt, Gavin Bryars and Michael Finnissy to backing vocals for Manfred Mann, Mike Oldfield and The Who (among others). Red Byrd, the group he founded with bass Richard Wistreich, has recorded music as diverse as Monteverdi (both straight and with electric guitars), Leonin (3 albums for Hyperion) and the Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones (for Factory Records). He was a major contributor to the Hilliard Ensemble's Officium project (for which he has five gold discs), and subsequently developed many of the ideas in The Dowland Project's four albums for ECM. He also produced the first three ECM albums by the Scandinavian Trio Mediaeval.


Current projects include new music for voices & lutes by Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and Sting, and the Conductus Project will see three albums of 12th/13th century music for Hyperion. His lute song repertoire with Ariel Abramovich ranges from Thomas Ford to Benedetto Ferrari and beyond, and includes programmes of Dowland and Campion.