Christopher Page

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For the Scottish botanist, see Christopher Nigel Page.

Christopher Page
Christopher Page.jpg
Christopher Page performing in his role as Gresham Professor of Music
NationalityFlag of the United Kingdom.svg British
OccupationAcademic, writer and musicologist

Christopher Page, FBA (born 1952) is an expert on medieval music, instruments and performance practice, together with the social and musical history of the guitar in England from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth. He has written numerous books regarding medieval music. He is currently a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he is Professor of Medieval Music and Literature, and Professor of Music at Gresham College.

Life and career[edit]

Christopher Page, Fellow of the British Academy, was educated at Sir George Monoux Grammar School (founded 1527) in London and Balliol College, Oxford. He was formerly a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford (1977–1980) and Senior Research Fellow in Music at Sidney Sussex.[1]

He is the founder and director of Gothic Voices, an early music vocal ensemble, which has recorded 25 discs for Hyperion Records,[2] many winning awards. The ensemble has performed in many countries, including, France, Germany, Portugal and Finland. London dates included twice-yearly sell-out concerts at London's Wigmore Hall. The ensemble gave its first Promenade Concert in 1989. The group's work has been chronicled most recently in Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, The Modern Invention of Medieval Music (CUP, 2007) and Richard Taruskin, Text and Act (OUP, 2006).[1]

Between 1989 and 1997, he was presenter of BBC Radio 3's Early Music programme, Spirit of the Age, and a presenter of the Radio 4 arts magazine Kaleidoscope.[3] He has been chairman of the National Early Music Association and of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society (founded 1889).[3] He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Early Music (OUP) and Plainsong and Medieval Music (CUP).[3]

Christopher Page was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2008.[4] He is currently working on a major reference work, Music in Medieval Literature: Readings from the Fall of Rome to Gothic Europe, for Cambridge University Press, and a monograph on the Tudor Guitar. He is a founder member of the Consortium for Guitar Research at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, which is an affiliate of the Royal Musical Association.[5]

In 2014 he was appointed Professor of Music at Gresham College.[6] In this role he will deliver series of free public lectures within London. His first year of lectures will be on Men, Women and Guitars in Romantic England.[7]

He plays historical guitars, principally the four-course renaissance guitar and the early Romantic guitar.[3]


  • Voices and Instruments of the Middle Ages (1987)
  • The Owl and the Nightingale: Musical Life and Ideas in France 1100-1300 (1989)
  • The Summa Musice: A Thirteenth-Century Manual for Singers (1991)
  • Discarding Images: Reflections on Music and Culture in Medieval France (Oxford, 1994)
  • Latin Poetry and Conductus Rhythm in Medieval France (London, 1996)
  • Music and Instruments of the Middle Ages (Ashgate, 1999)
  • The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years (2010)
  • The Guitar in Tudor England (2015)
  • The Guitar in Stuart England (2017)

Page's major 350,000 word study, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years, is published by Yale University Press. In a review for The New York Review of Books, Eamon Duffy writes: "But once or twice in a generation a book comes along which crosses disciplinary boundaries to make unexpected connections, open up new imaginative vistas, and refocus what had seemed familiar historical landscapes. Page’s musician’s-eye view of the evolution of western Christendom is one of those books".[8]


External links[edit]