John Butt

Biography

Born: November 17, 1960; Solihull, West Midlands  
John Butt is a prominent English keyboard player and conductor, who has focused largely on music of the Baroque period. He is also a pedagogue and widely considered an authority on the music of J.S. Bach and its performance, as well as on German Baroque music in general. He has authored several books on these subjects including Bach Interpretation and Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque, both issued by Cambridge Read more University Press.

John Butt was born in Solihull, England in 1960. In 1979 he enrolled at King's College, Cambridge University, where as an undergraduate he attained the post of organ scholar. Among his teachers were Gillian Weir and Peter Hurford. Butt went on to earn a Doctorate degree in 1987 from Cambridge, having devoted much study to the music of J.S. Bach. In 1989 he joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkely, where he also served as University Organist. Two years later he assumed additional duties there when he took on directorship of the University's Chamber Chorus. By the early 1990s Butt's first recordings were appearing on the Harmonia Mundi label, among which were Orlando Gibbons -- Tudor Church Music (1990), where he served as organist; and Bach Violin Sonatas (1993), where he partnered violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock on the harpsichord. During this period he also developed a relationship with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and its director, Nicholas McGegan, both in concert and the recording studio.



1997 was a pivotal year for John Butt: he returned to Cambridge University to serve as a lecturer and fellow at King's College. He also founded a mixed choir there, largely for performances and services at the Chapel. His concert schedule in England and United States increased that year as well, Butt giving memorable readings of Handel Organ Concertos with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Butt's recordings soon became more frequent and garnered much attention: Kuhnau's Biblical Sonatas (1999) and Bach's Trio Sonatas, BWV 525-30 (2001), for Harmonia Mundi, were both well received, as was his album, Elgar, the Complete Organ Works (2002). Butt has continued his activity as a teacher and performing artist in the new century, and as an author too: his 2003 book, Playing With History, examines historic performance practices. Read less
Browse 1-11 of 11 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Bach: John Passion / Butt, Dunedin Consort
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 419 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Jacob Handl,  Johann Hermann Schein
    Performer:  John Butt,  Joanne Lunn,  Nicholas Mulroy,  Matthew Brook  ... 
    Conductor:  John Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin Consort
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  • 2.
    Lumieres - Music Of The Enlightenment [30-CD Set]
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908601 Release Date: 10/01/2011   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Kobie van Rensburg,  Véronique Gens,  Patrizia Ciofi,  Marie McLaughlin  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs,  William Christie,  Daniel Reuss,  Philippe Herreweghe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne,  Cologne Collegium Vocale,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 3.
    Fauré, Duruflé: Requiems, Etc / Willcocks, Ledger, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 79989 Release Date: 03/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Duruflé
    Performer:  Gareth Morris,  Robert Chilcott,  John Carol Case,  John [classical organ] Wells  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 4.
    Fauré: Requiem, Messe Basse;  Poulenc, Duruflé / Philip Ledger, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 75906 Release Date: 01/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Duruflé,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  John Butt,  Paul Smy
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Winchester Cathedral Choir
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  • 5.
    Handel: Messiah / Dunedin Consort
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 285 Release Date: 01/01/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Annie Gill,  Matthew Brook,  Edward Caswell,  Susan Hamilton  ... 
    Conductor:  John Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin Players,  Dunedin Consort
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  • 6.
    Handel: Coronation Anthems, Dixit Dominus
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 85454 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robert Tear,  John Shirley-Quirk,  John Langdon,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Bach: Violin Sonatas Vol 1 / Elizabeth Blumenstock, John Butt
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 3957084 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  John Butt,  Elizabeth Blumenstock
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  • 8.
    The Very Best Of Janet Baker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75069 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Dame Janet Baker,  Cecil Aronowitz,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Philip Ledger,  André Previn,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra Chorus,  Hallé Orchestra,  Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus  ... 
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  • 9.
    Bach: Organ Music / John Butt
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 3957055 Release Date: 03/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  John Butt
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  • 10.
    Anthems And Instrumental Works By Orlando Gibbons / Butt
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2308 Release Date: 03/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando Gibbons
    Performer:  Jeffrey Thomas,  John Butt,  Julie Comparini,  Erica Barton  ... 
    Conductor:  John Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berkeley Chamber Chorus,  Berkeley Festival Consort of Viols
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  • 11.
    100 Best Adagio Voices
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64292 Release Date: 09/22/0009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Toby Spence,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Taverner Players  ... 
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