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:: Biography


John Potter's multifarious musical collaborators include Alternative History (with lutenists Ariel Abramovich & Jacob Heringman and soprano Anna Maria Friman) and the Dowland Project (John Surman saxophones and Milos Valent violin & viola); both ensembles record for ECM. 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 and The Who (among others). Red Byrd, the group he founded with bass Richard Wistreich, recorded music as diverse as Monteverdi (both straight and with electric guitars), Leonin (3 albums for Hyperion) and John Paul Jones (for Factory Records). With the Conductus Ensemble he made three further albums for Hyperion and he was a major contributor to the Hilliard Ensemble's Officium project for ECM. He also produced the first three ECM albums by the Scandinavian Trio Mediaeval. His most recent albums for ECM include music by Josquin, Victoria, Tony Banks, John Paul Jones and Sting.

A writer and historian as well as a singer, he has published four books on singing (for Yale and Cambridge University Press) 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. He is currently working on a history of song.