John Potter is an author and singer. His first book, Vocal Authority, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1998, and he is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Singing (2000); Yale University Press published his Tenor: History of a Voice in 2009. He has contributed articles to many academic journals and chapters to other books, including the Cambridge History of Musical Performance (2012) and the Cambridge History of Medieval Music (due, belatedly, in 2017). He is Reader Emeritus in Music at the University of York (having stepped down from his lectureship in 2010 to focus on his portfolio of freelance projects). His most recent book, published by Cambridge University Press in 2012, is A History of Singing (jointly authored with ethnomusicologist Neil Sorrell). He is currently working on a successor to his first book, Vocal Authority.
As a singer John has partnerships with instrumentalists in various parts of the world. At the moment he is focusing on lute songs, which he performs with Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman. Their ECM album Amores Pasados, with Swedish soprano Anna Maria Friman, topped the Amazon UK classical song chart with music written for them by rock musicians John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Tony Banks (Genesis) and Sting. John's other albums for ECM include Being Dufay with British electro-acoustic composer Ambrose Field, and four albums with The Dowland Project. He has also performed and recorded for many years with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, and contributed to more than a dozen albums by the German group The Sound and the Fury. His latest early music adventure is Cantum Pulcriorum Invenire, a research project at the University of Southampton, which has seen the release of three CDs of 12th century Conductus on Hyperion. John spent 18 years with the Hilliard Ensemble (whose CDs include the million-selling Officium) and his complete discography runs to more than 150 titles. He also coaches vocal ensembles all over the world, and until recently chaired the ensemble contest jury at the Tampere Vocal Festival (Finland).