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Peter Seymour



Peter Seymour studied at Huddersfield School of Music and at University of York, including post-graduate work researching into the performance of baroque music. In July 1994 he was awarded the degree of D Mus., at University of York for research into performing style. He is director of Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and of Yorkshire Bach Choir, and has worked and recorded in most European countries. He is also an artistic adviser to York Early Music Festival and Professor in Music and Organist at the University of York. He records regularly both as conductor and keyboard player for WDR-Köln, BBC and other radio stations. His keyboard work focuses on harpsichord, organ and fortepiano both as soloist and in ensemble. Particularly rewarding projects have included recording CPE Bach's last six volumes of keyboard compositions and long-term musical partnerships (in both Baroque and Classical repertoire) with Yvonne Seymour, Bethany Seymour, Emma Kirkby, Mhairi Lawson, James Gilchrist, Charles Daniels, Joshua Ellicott, Peter Harvey, Matthew Brook, Stephen Varcoe, Roderick Williams; he has also worked with Lynne Dawson, James Bowman, Robin Blaze, Christoph Prégardien, Ian Partridge, as well as instrumentalists including Lucy Russell, Anthony Robson, Pamela Thorby and Crispian Steele Perkins. He is a member of Compagnia d’Istrumenti, an Ensemble in Association here at University of York.

He has recently edited JS Bach’s early version of St Matthew Passion which he then recorded for Signum Records. For 2015 York Early Music Festival he edited cantatas and sonatas by Jacquet de La Guerre and directed their performance. In the last twelve months he has conducted performances of Purcell Dido & Aeneas; both Bach Passions; Brahms Requiem; Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius; Handel Messiah; Mozart Requiem; Haydn Maria Theresa Mass; Rossini Petite Messe solenelle; and Britten War Requiem.

Departmental roles

  • Chair, Instruments Committee
  •  Chair, York Early Music Press Editorial Board
  •  Performance Supervisors' Committee
  •  Director, University Choir
  •  Director, Chamber Choir
  •  Director, Baroque Ensemble



  • Late Renaissance, baroque, classical and early Romantic music (c.1550-1850)
  • Performance practice
  • Choral and vocal music (especially 1550-1850)
  • Early instruments, especially keyboard music 1600-1800
  • Rhetoric and its influence on performance in Baroque and Classical music
  • Early Lieder (c.1750-1850)
  • Conducting
  • Editing



  • 17th & 18th Century Performance Practice
  • Bach
  • Choral Music 1550-1800: practical issues
  • Early Lieder (1750-1850)
  • Performance
  • English Baroque
  • Purcell
  • Rhetoric and Baroque Performance Practice


  • MA/PhD   
    • Performance Practice 1550-1840
    • JS Bach
    • Rhetoric and Baroque Performance Practice
    • Ornamentation in Early Lieder
    • Purcell and the English Baroque


Full publications list

View Peter Seymour's full publications list at the York Research Database.

Professor Peter Seymour

Contact details

Professor Peter Seymour
Department of Music
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 2431

External links