John Potter joined the Music Department in 1998, and continues to combine his career as a singer with his teaching and research work. Although educated in the English choral tradition (chorister at King's College Cambridge, Music Scholar at King's School Canterbury and Choral Exhibitioner at Gonville & Caius Cambridge), he has always been fascinated by vocal activity of all sorts. His teachers included Lieder singer Walter Gruner, the accompanist Paul Hamburger, and the tenor Peter Pears. His early career included spells with the BBC Singers and Swingle II, and he was a founder member of the avant-garde ensemble Electric Phoenix. He was a member of the Hilliard Ensemble from 1984 to 2001 and has enjoyed a long association with ECM Records' Manfred Eicher. John also coaches ensembles on the European mainland and in the USA, and chairs the jury for the contest for ensembles at the Tampere International Choir Festival (Finland).
In 1989 he founded Red Byrd, together Richard Wistreich; their Hyperion CD of music by Leonin won a Diapason d'Or d'Année in 1998 and a second CD of music by Leonin (also featuring the York student ensemble Yorvox) released in November 2001 also won a Diapason d'Or and had excellent reviews (see the Yorvox link below). A third CD 'A Scottish Lady Mass' (also featuring York students) was released in April 2005. Red Byrd's recordings also include Roger Marsh's Pierrot Lunaire, Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and the cult classic Songs of Love & Death featuring Monteverdi performed on electric instruments and specially-commissioned pieces by the former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. John is also the prime mover behind The Dowland Project, an improvising group of jazz and early music performers who have made three highly-acclaimed CDs for ECM. John's most recent ECM release is Being Dufay, a collaborative project with composer Ambrose Field. His complete discography numbers some 150 titles, including 5 gold discs.
John also sings with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble and the Anglo-German group The Sound and the Fury. The latter ensemble is supported by Austrian Radio (ORF) and the artists Muntean and Rosenblum, and is involved in a major recording project that will produce several CDs a year of Franco-Flemish polyphony. In addition to recording John has a very active career as a performer and vocal coach, both activities taking him all over the world. His extensive bibliography includes two books for Cambridge University Press and Tenor: History of a Voice for Yale University Press (2009). For more information about John Potter's concerts, recordings and publications see http://www.john-potter.co.uk/.