William Lyons is a diverse and well-known musician, working in the fields of performance, composition and research. He has been at the forefront of the Early Music movement for many years, composes for theatre and other media and is active in research into matters of Historic Performance Practice and teaches at leading UK music conservatoires.
William is director of the acclaimed early music ensembles The Dufay Collective and The City Musick. He is also a regular performer with leading early music groups such as The Gabrieli Consort and I Fagiolini. Time is otherwise spent as a music consultant, researcher and tutor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the Royal College of Music. His Radio 4 documentary on the lives of civic musicians in Tudor London was well received and was made ‘Pick of The Week’.
In 2011/12 William worked closely as collaborator and advisor with Damon Albarn on the creation of the innovative ‘Dr Dee’ that successfully premiered at the Manchester International Festival and for English National Opera.
As an expert performer, William can be heard on the soundtracks of numerous films, including most recently Robin Hood, Pride & Prejudice, The Hobbit, Les Miserables and Grand Budapest Hotel. He also recorded all the historic woodwind samples for the Cinesamples music software programme.
William has composed and arranged music for film and TV, including the Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. On Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban he was a performer and advisor to John Williams on scoring and historical soundscapes.
He has a long association with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as a composer, performer, Musical Director and Historical Music Adviser. Previously for the Globe he has composed for ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Richard II’, ‘Much Ado about Nothing’, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, ‘The Winter’s Tale’, ‘Coriolanus’, ‘Liberty’, ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’, ‘Blue Stockings’ and the acclaimed productions of Howard Brenton’s ‘In Extremis’ and ‘Anne Boleyn’, the latter winning the TMA Best Touring Production 2012. He composed for the new play by Brenton, ‘Dr Scroggy’s War’ that premiered to critical acclaim at the Globe in September 2014. In 2015 he composed the music for Helen Edmundson’s ‘The Heresy of Love’.
In 2015 William composed an eclectic score for the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of ‘Everyman’, directed by the new Artistic Director, Rufus Norris. He directed a Gabrieli Consort collaboration on extracts from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in Washington DC and at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London.
Library music projects in 2016 were varied to say the least! There was a disc of Ancient Roman and Greek tracks, Hollywood epic fanfares, and folk and medieval tracks for the History Zone.
In 2015 William also composed a soundscape for a wonderful wedding painting by the mid 16th century painter Martin van Cleve. This was for the Frieze Masters Exhibition in Regents Park, one of the world's premier art fairs. He also composed music for the British Library 'Shakespeare in Ten Acts' Exhibition and is currently working on a score for English Heritage and National Trust promotions and has written and will present a forthcoming BBC Radio 3 Early Music Show on the legacy of David Munrow.