A tribute to John Tyrrell

8 October 2018

WNO was saddened to hear of the death of John Tyrrell who, in Autumn 2017, provided the new critical edition of From the House of the Dead which we performed as part of our Russian Revolution season. The production will also form part of the Janáček festival in Brno later this year.

WNO Artistic Director, David Pountney said

‘That Janáček has gradually come to be acknowledged as one of the  greatest 20th century opera composers is due to a select group of impassioned advocates, amongst them Sir Charles Mackerras and Norman Tucker, now a largely forgotten figure who first programmed Janáček’s works at Sadlers Wells in the 1960s. No-one was more significant in this regard than John Tyrrell, who died this week. His magisterial biography of Janáček, along with many other publications, and his critical editions made him the world’s leading Janáček musicologist. His scholarly support was a vital arm of WNO’s advocacy of the composer going back to the 1970s, and most recently WNO performed the premiere of his critical edition of From the House of the Dead, conducted by Tomáš Hanus, who carries on the flame lit by Richard Armstrong and Sir Charles. John’s critical and scholarly rigour was matched by great kindness and a shy, twinkling humour. He was a modest man who achieved undisputed greatness in his field: can one say better than that of any man?’