John Butt

John Butt

John Butt

John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh's Dunedin Consort.


John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and Director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort. He is also a Principal Artist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, he was organ scholar at King’s College; he completed his PhD in 1987. Following posts at the University of Aberdeen and Magdalene College Cambridge, he joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1989 as University Organist and Professor of Music. In 1997 he returned to Cambridge as a University Lecturer and Fellow of King’s College, and in 2001 he took up his current post at Glasgow. His books 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) and Bach’s Dialogue with Modernity (2010). Butt 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).

John Butt’s conducting engagements with the Dunedin Consort have included major Baroque repertory and several commissions. As a guest conductor, his engagements include the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Hallé, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, The English Concert, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the Irish Baroque Orchestra, among others. He is also active as a solo organist and harpsichordist, with eleven recordings on organ, harpsichord and clavichord released by Harmonia Mundi and two more on Linn.

In 2003 John Butt was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association; he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2006. In 2013 he was awarded the medal of the Royal College of Organists and appointed OBE in the UK New Year’s Honours list.