John Phillips

John’s interest is in music education and his research concerns the very institution at which he is a student. He asks, ‘What is the learning culture of the RNCM?’.

John Phillips

John’s study will involve an investigation of the College’s policies, operation and curriculum, its teaching and learning practices, and the positioning of leaders, tutors and students in its musical and social hierarchy.

John began studying the violin at the age of 10 and later became a member of the National Youth Orchestra. He read Classics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he was a founder member of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. The quartet subsequently became String Quartet in Residence at the University of York and, whilst there, gave the UK premiere of the Thirteenth Quartet of Shostakovich in the presence of the composer.

He later left the quartet to pursue a career as a barrister and in 1998 was appointed as a circuit judge, sitting mainly in criminal cases. In 2006 he was awarded a CBE for services to the criminal justice system.

John left the law in 2016 to return to music and in 2017 began studying for a Master of Music (Performance) degree at the RNCM. He has completed those studies and now embarks on his PhD. He has been a director and member of the Board of the Hallé Orchestra since 2016 and continues in that position.