I studied for a Performer’s diploma in piano and cello at the Royal College of Music from 1976-9 before taking up a Postmastership at Merton to read Literae Humaniores. After graduating, I pursued a career first as a cellist and then in business, but returned to academia in 1994 to research for a doctorate at University College London. I was awarded my PhD in 1998, and became a Fellow of Jesus in 2000.
I have written articles on ancient language, literature and culture, and my book The Greeks and the New: Novelty in ancient Greek imagination and experience was published in 2011. I have a particular interest in Greek music and metre, and versify in both Greek and Latin (see Otium Didascali). In 2004 I was commissioned to compose a Pindaric Ode to Athens which was recited at the Athens Olympic Games, and London’s Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned a Greek Ode for the London Olympics 2012. In 2013-2015 I was awarded a Fellowship from the British Academy to reconstitute the sounds of ancient Greek music. The project has resulted in media appearances, e.g. on the BBC4 documentary Sappho, and given rise to numerous scholarly articles and public presentations (e.g. the BBC Online article ‘How did ancient Greek music sound?’). In 2017 I spoke for a 10-minute interview on Greek TV about my project to reconstruct ancient Greek music (available here).
Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College: