John Warrackwas educatedat Winchester and, after Army service in Greece and Egypt, at the Royal College of Music. He played the oboe in London orchestras and opera companies, then becoming Music Critic of The Sunday Telegraph and later Director of the Leeds Musical Festival before being elected a Fellow of St Hugh’s College and University Lecturer in Music at Oxford in 1984.
Oxford conferred the degree of DLitt. on him in 1989. He has also been visiting Professor of Music History at Nottingham University. His books include studies of Weber and Tchaikovsky, a Cambridge Handbook on Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and a history of German opera. He is also co-author of The Oxford Dictionary of Opera.
His editions include volumes for the New Berlioz Edition and Neue Weber Gesamtausgabe, and he has lectured and broadcast in Britain, Germany, Italy and the USA. He has made translations from French, German, Russian and Italian for festivals and opera companies including English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Oxford Opera and the Buxton and Ryedale Festivals. Of partly Scottish, partly Yorkshire roots, he is a strong believer in the local cultivation of music and is now President of the Ryedale Festival.