John Tyrrell (musicologist)

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John Tyrrell
Born17 August 1942[1]
Died4 October 2018(2018-10-04) (aged 76)
Known forStudy of Czech music, particularly biography of L. Janacek, editor of second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Scientific career
FieldsMusicology, Czech studies
InstitutionsUniversity of Cardiff

John Tyrrell (17 August 1942 – 4 October 2018) was a British musicologist. He published several books on Leoš Janáček, including an authoritative and largely definitive two-volume biography.[2][3] Tyrrell was born in Salisbury, Zimbabwe and worked as a professor of music and executive editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He died on October 4, 2018, aged 76.

Early life


Tyrrell was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), he studied at the universities of Cape Town, Oxford and Brno. He graduated Bachelor of Music at the University of Cape Town following which he moved to the University of Oxford to pursue a doctoral degree under the supervision of Edmund Rubbra.[4]



Tyrrell started his career working in an editorial capacity at The Musical Times. He was a Lecturer in Music at the University of Nottingham (1976), becoming Reader in Opera Studies (1987) and Professor (1996). 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.[citation needed]

He received numerous awards and honours throughout his career. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Masaryk University. Then again in 2012, he was awarded another honorary doctorate by the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts, situated in Janáček’s hometown of Brno.[5] In 2018, he received the Classic Prague Award. Later that year, the Janáček Festival was also dedicated in his honour.[6]



He died on the morning of 4 October 2018 at the age of 76.[7]


  1. ^ Profile,; accessed 25 July 2020.(in Czech)
  2. ^ "John Tyrrell, musicologist who helped revive interest in Leos Janácek – obituary". The Telegraph. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Professor John Tyrell". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Professor John Tyrrell (1942-2018)". Cardiff University. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  5. ^ "John Tyrrell (1942-2018)". Oxford Music Online. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Janáček Festival 2018: dedicated to John Tyrrell". Universal Edition. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Zemřel John Tyrrell, přední odborník na tvorbu Leoše Janáčka". (in Czech). 5 October 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.

Further reading