Biography – JOHN BRYDEN M.A.(Cantab) A.R.C.M., A.R.C.O.

John Bryden portrait ‘From Princeton to Kathmandu’

International musician JOHN BRYDEN was born in Edinburgh and gave his first BBC broadcast recital at the age of fourteen. Two years later he became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain playing the double bass and at the same time was awarded the Greenwood Music Exhibition to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he studied with Peter Katin, later gaining a Martin Scholarship and studying in Master Classes in Siena with Guido Agosti where he was awarded a Diploma of Merit and in Bonn during the Beethoven Bi-Centenary Year with Claudio Arrau. Early on in his career he benefitted greatly from the advice of Sir Clifford Curzon and Hans Keller.

‘Coupled with his musicianship and talent, Mr Bryden’s enthusiastic personality and his single-minded devotion to his profession should ensure for him an excellent musical career and a valuable position in his chosen field’. – Sir Clifford Curzon

JOHN BRYDEN has played all over Britain as soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, appearing several times at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. He has also played in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Princeton, USA; at the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia; and on television. On board the M.S. Saga Rose he has given many recitals all around the world. He is pianist of the Dartington Trio and specialises in one-composer recitals in which he also reads from contemporary newspaper reports and letters.

From the age of ten JOHN BRYDEN has played the organ regularly officiating in that capacity in Exeter Cathedral and Buckfast Abbey. He is now a freelance organist within the Edinburgh area.

John leads ACE Cultural Tours to European capitals and festivals, giving organ recitals in Cathedrals such as Dresden and Salzburg and piano recitals in the houses where Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Haydn and Liszt lived.

JOHN BRYDEN has been a coach for many years at the Dartington International Summer School of Music where he played for Master Classes given by Jacqueline du Pre.

He is a very experienced teacher at every level of musical understanding and ability with pupils aged from 3 to 80+. Included among his appointments have been membership of the staff of Dartington College of Arts (where he was a Senior Lecturer), Sherborne School for Girls, and Buckfast Abbey School. He is presently on the staff of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. John’s piano students include music students at Edinburgh University. He has been an examiner for the ABRSM and currently is an external examiner for Performance at Edinburgh Napier University.

John Bryden portrait

Photo by Tibor Galamb

JOHN BRYDEN is chairman of the South East of Scotland branch of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Council Member for the Edinburgh Society of Musicians and Council Member for the Edinburgh Competition Festival Association.

John is also enjoying forays into the world of jazz piano and world music such as Klezmer.