John Butt | organ
John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort. As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, he held the office of organ scholar at King’s College. Continuing as a graduate student working on the music of Bach he received his PhD in 1987. He was subsequently a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and a Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge, joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1989 as University Organist and Professor of Music. In autumn 1997 he returned to Cambridge as a University Lecturer and Fellow of King’s College, and in October 2001 he took up his current post at Glasgow.
His books have been published by Cambridge University Press: these include Bach Interpretation (1990), a handbook on Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1991), Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (1994). Playing with History (2002) marked a new tack, examining the broad culture of historically informed performance and attempting to explain and justify it as a contemporary phenomenon. He is also editor or joint editor of both the Cambridge and Oxford Companions to Bach and of the Cambridge History of Seventeenth Century Music (2005). His book on Bach’s Passions, Bach’s Dialogue with Modernity, was published in 2010, and explores the ways in which Bach’s passion settings relate to some of the broader concepts of modernity, such as subjectivity and time consciousness. John Butt’s conducting engagements with the Dunedin Consort (since 2003) have included major Baroque repertory and several new commissions. His recording of Messiah in its first performed version (Dublin, 1742) was released in 2006 and received the Gramophone Award in the Baroque Vocal Category in 2007 and the MIDEM award for Baroque Music in 2008. Linn released his recording of Bach’s Matthew Passion in March 2008, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea in November 2008. His recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor was released in May 2010. He has been guest conductor with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Göttingen Handel Festspiele, the Berkeley Festival, the RSAMD Chamber Orchestra and Chorus and the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
John Butt also continues to be active as a solo organist and harpsichordist. Eleven recordings on organ, harpsichord and clavichord have been released by Harmonia Mundi. As conductor or organist he has performed throughout the world, including recent trips to Germany, France, Poland, Israel and Korea.