Tyler, James (Henry)
Tyler, James (Henry)
Tyler, James (Henry), American lutenist, guitarist, and viol player; b. Hartford, Conn., Aug. 3,1940. He attended the Univ. of Conn, and studied lute with Joseph Iadone. In 1961 he made his concert debut as a lutenist with the Consort Players, with whom he performed in “An Elizabethan Evening at the White House” in Washington, D.C., in 1963. He also made his recording debut in 1963 with the N.Y. Pro Musica. In 1967 he went to Germany and recorded with the Studio der frühen Musik and, in 1969, to England, where he performed with Musica Reservata. In the same year, he joined the Early Music Consort of London, with whom he toured and recorded until director David Munrow’s death in 1976. From 1974 to 1990 he also was a member of the Julian Bream Consort. In 1976 he founded the London Early Music Group, an ensemble specializing in music of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. It made its debut in 1977 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and then performed in chamber music series and festivals throughout Europe, North America, and Australia, and made various recordings. He also recorded as a Baroque mandolin soloist with the English Concert and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. A versatile musician, Tyler played tenor banjo and was a member of the Original Rag Quartet with Max Morath (1961-67) and with his own ensemble, the New Excelsior Talking Machine, which he founded in 1974. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Southern Calif. Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, where he is prof, of music and director of the early music performance program. In addition to numerous articles in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980; rev. ed., 2000), The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (1984), and Early Music,he publ. The Early Guitar (Oxford, 1980) and, with P. Sparks, The Early Mandolin (Oxford, 1989). He has composed and arranged the music for several BBC-TV productions, most notably Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure, Henry VIII,and Hamlet (“The Play Within a Play”).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire