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Professor John Tyrrell


John Tyrrell Position: Honorary Professor Email:
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74379
Location: 33 Corbett Road (Annexe)

John Tyrrell was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) and studied at the universities of Cape Town, Oxford and Brno. After working as an editor at The Musical Times and on The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, he joined the University of Nottingham as Lecturer in Music (1976), becoming Reader in Opera Studies (1987) and Professor (1996). He was awarded a two-year British Academy Research Fellowship in 1992. From 1996 to 2000 he was Executive Editor of the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001). From 2000-08 he was Research Professor at Cardiff University, where he continues as an Honorary Professor.

John Tyrrell's work has been concerned with Czech music, in particular that of Leoš Janáček, and includes an edition, with Sir Charles Mackerras, of Janáček's opera Jenufa that restored the composer's original intentions and which has been extensively performed throughout the world. In 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Masaryk University of Brno for his work on Janáček and Czech music and in 2003 a Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters (New York). From 1999-2005 he was chairman of the Music Libraries Trust.

John Tyrrell directs two online databases: the Prague Concert Life, 1850-81 (funded by The Leverhulme Trust), in collaboration with the Principal Research Assistant, Dr Karl Stapleton (database online from February 2007) and the Concert Programmes Database (jointly with the RCM, funded by the AHRC), in collaboration with the Project Manager, Dr Rupert Ridgewell of the British Library (database online from December 2007).



Janáček: Years of a Life. Volume 2 (1914-1928) 'Tsar of the Forests' (London: Faber & Faber, 2007)

Janáček: Years of a Life. Volume I (1854-1914) 'The Lonely Blackbird' (London: Faber & Faber, 2006)

(ed.) (with Stanley Sadie) The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition, 29 vols (London: Macmillan, 2001)

(ed. and trans.) Zdenka Janackova: My Life with Janáček (London: Faber, 1998)

(with Nigel Simeone and Alena Nemcova) Janáček's Works: A Catalogue of the Music and Writings of Leoš Janáček (Oxford: OUP, 1997)

(ed. and trans.) Intimate Letters: Leoš Janáček to Kamila Stosslova (London: Faber, 1994)

Janáček at the Barbican 15-17 January 1993 [essays] (London: BBC, 1993)

Janáček's Operas: A Documentary Account (London: Faber, 1992)

Czech Opera (Cambridge: CUP, 1988; Czech trans., Brno: Opus musicum, 1992)

Leoš Janáček: Kat'a Kabanova (Cambridge: CUP, 1982)

(with Rosemary Wise) A Guide to International Congress Reports in Musicology 1900-1975 (London: Macmillan, 1979)

Book Chapters, Journal Articles and Published Papers

‘Janáček Editions at 2010: A Personal Overview’, Brio, xlvii/2 (2010), 19–25

‘Janáček, Nejedly and the Future of Czech National Opera’, in Rachel Cowgill, David Cooper and Clive Brown (eds.), Art and Ideology in European Opera: Essays in Honour of Julian Rushton (Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, 2010),  103–121

‘Janáček, Religion and Belief’, Musicologica Brunensia, xliv/1-2 (2009), 209–16

La tristesse des dernières années: tragicomédie et sagesse acquise dans La petite renard rusée’, La petite renarde rusée, ed. Marianne Frippiat, L’avant-scène Opéra, no. 252, (2009), 81-5

‘Janáček a 'vojensky motiv' v Salome’ [Janáček and the military motif in Salome], Opus musicum, xl/5 (2008), 4-7

'Genre in Janáček's Operas', Muzikoloski zbornik, xlii/1 Ljubljana, 2006), 139-46

'Janáček and Modernism', Sbornik Filozoficke fakulty brnenske univerzity, H41 (Brno, 2006, 225-30)

'Janáček and Programme Music', Ad Parnassum, ii/3 (2004), 61-102

'Konvence v Janackovych operach' [Conventions in Janáček's Operas], Opus musicum, xxxvi (2004), 1-7

'How Janáček Composed Operas', in Michael Beckerman (ed.), Janáček and his World (Princeton: Yale UP, 2003), 55-78

'Janáček and the Leitmotif', A prec je v hudbe jen jedna pravda …: Sbornik referatu z konference ke 150. v roci narozeni Leose Janacka (Brno: JAMU, 2003), 19-32

'Janáček's Concept of Recitative', in Michael Beckerman and Glen Bauer (eds), Leoš Janáček and Czech Music: International Conference at St Louis, Missouri 1988 (Pendragon Press, Stuyvesant, NY, 1995), 3-19

'Janáčeks zwei Brouceks', in Jakob Knaus and Jiri Vyslouzil (eds), Die Ausfluge des Herrn Broucek: Dokumente, Materialen, Wertungen (Leoš Janáček-Gesellschaft, Zurich, 1995), 90-7

'Russian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian Opera to 1900', in Roger Parker (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera (Oxford: OUP, 1994), 237-78

'Prozodie a "ceskost" v ceske opere' [Wordsetting and 'Czechness' in Czech Opera], Hudebni veda, xxvi (1989), 299-331

'The Slow Cathartic Waltz and other Finale Conventions in Janáček's Operas', in Nigel Fortune (ed.), Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean (Cambridge: CUP, 1987), 333-52; Czech trans. in Opus musicum, xx (1988), 289-302

'Janáček a viola d'amour' [Janáček and the Viola d/Amore], Leoš Janáček ac tempora nostra: Brno XIII 1978, 303-8; enlarged English version in Leoš Janáček: Kat'a Kabanova (Cambridge: CUP, 1982), 154-61

'Janáček and the Speech-Melody Myth', The Musical Times, cxi (1970), 793-6; German trans. in Leoš Janáček-Gesellschaft: Mittelungsblatt 1971, no.2; Czech version in Opus musicum, i (1969), 227-32

'Mr Broucek's Excursion to the Moon', Casopis Moravskeho muzea: vedy spolecenske, liii-liv (1968-9), 89-122

'The Musical Prehistory of Janáček's Pocatek romanu and its Importance in Shaping the Composer's Dramatic Style', Casopis Moravskeho muzea: vedy spolecenske, lii (1967), 245-70


(with Charles Mackerras) Leos Janáček: Jenufa: Jeji pastorkyna: Brno version (1908) (full score, Vienna: Universal Edition, 1996; piano-vocal score, Vienna: Universal Edition, 2000)

Other Output

Reviews in twentieth-century music, Times Literary Supplement, etc.


John Tyrrell has completed an article on ‘Janáček and melodrama’ (for a forthcoming Ashgate volume on melodrama) and is working on a new edition with the late Sir Charles Mackerras (full score and piano vocal score) of Janáček’s Z mrtveho domu [From the House of the Dead] for Universal Edition, Vienna (2012).

Research Papers and Public Lectures


‘From Kings to Criminals: Janáček’s Changing Maestoso Moods’, Christchurch University, Canterbury, 24 February 2011

‘Maestoso Janáček’, IAML, Annual Study Weekend, Nottingham, 12 April 2010

‘Janáček and the 'Military Motif' from Salome’, 'Leoš Janáček within European Culture: 43rd International Musicological Conference', Brno, 30 September 2008

‘The Thirteenth Head: achievements in reflections on Fibich’s stage melodramas Hippodamia', conference 'Music and the Melodramatic Aesthetic', Nottingham, 5 September 2008

‘Pigeon holes and politics: Janáček’s anniversaries’, keynote address to Society for Musicology in Ireland annual conference, Waterford, 10 May 2008

'What went wrong with Makropulos?', Colloque international Leoš Janáček: culture européenne et création, Paris, 3-5 April 2008

'Janáček's Album for Kamila', lecture-recital with William Howard, Cardiff University, 11 December 2007; Merlin Festival, Monmouth, 18 September 2008

'Prekinitve in ponovni zacetki v Janackovem ustvarjalnem procesu: nekaj razmisljanj in hipotez', Ljubljana University, 19 November 2007