John Bryan started playing the viol as a student at the University of York, where he performed medieval and renaissance music with the Landini Consort, appearing throughout the UK and in Europe and USA. With the Rose Consort of Viols he has recorded more than twenty CDs and performed on BBC Radio 3. He has appeared world-wide with other ensembles including the Consort of Musicke, Musica Antiqua of London and I Fagiolini.
At the University of Huddersfield he was Head of Music and Drama and awarded the higher research degree of D.Mus. for his work on historical performance. At Huddersfield he directed the University Chamber Choir and Early Music Ensemble and is now an Emeritus Professor of Music. He has published articles in Early Music and The Journal of Musicology, and his jointly-authored book Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music was awarded the 2018 Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize of the American Musical Instrument Society. An artistic adviser to York Early Music Festival, and founder of the North East Early Music Forum, he is now chair of the Viola da Gamba Society and also acts as a specialist lecturer for music festivals organised by Martin Randall Travel. He also enjoys leading workshops in early music and guest conducting York’s chamber orchestra the Academy of St. Olave’s, with whom his repertory has included pieces by Charles Ives and Richard Strauss as well as the Viennese classics.