Biography and Contact information:


    601 Van Ness Avenue, #523
    San Francisco, CA 94102


Phone/ Cell phone/ Voicemail:



picture of: John PrescottJohn Prescott received his M.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from U. C. Berkeley. Prior to this, he received his B.A. magna cum laude in Music and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton College (MN). He has been the recipient of a number of academic honors, including the British Marshall Scholarship for two years of study at St. John's College in Cambridge, England. He also studied at Oxford University's Worcester College.
Dr. Prescott has written extensively on the music of Handel. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on John Stanley, the 18th-century blind organist, conductor, violinist and impresario. Dr. Prescott has taught music courses at U.C. Berkeley and music theory at The Crowden School (Berkeley CA), and was the musicologist for the San Francisco Elderhostel Arts and Humanities Program. He gives pre-opera lectures for Berkeley West Edge Opera and the Livermore Valley Opera Company. He also gives pre-concert lectures for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.



John Prescott, Ph.D





Ph.D, Music History and Literature, University of California, Berkeley, December 2012

  • Dissertation: “John Stanley, “A Miracle of Art and Nature: The Role of Disability in the Life and Career of a Blind Eighteenth Century Musician”


M.A., Music History and Literature, University of California, Berkeley, June 1993


Studies in Music, Marshal Scholar, St. John’s College, Cambridge University, UK, 1989-1991


B.A., Music major, Magna cum Laude, Carleton College, 1989


Teaching experience


San Francisco Early Music Society, 1-week courses:

    • August 2013  "Vivaldi and the Venetians: Baroque Music in the Serene Republic"
    • August 2012:  “Baroque and Beyond: the music of Telemann and his Successors”
    • August 2011:  “The Many Moods of J. S. Bach”
    • August 2010:  “Handel and His World”
    • August 2009: “A Royal Tour through England’s Musical Past”

2013 spring, fall and winter quarters:  Music history courses taught for the Osher Life Long Learning Institute at U. C. Berkeley

Elderhostel Programs in San Francisco, April 2002-present

    • Lectured and led discussions with groups of forty seniors
    • Guided them through concerts, exhibitions, and demonstrations at the Berkeley Early Music Festival

Crowden School, Berkeley, CA, Music Theory Instructor, 1996-2002

    • Instructor for music theory and composition students in junior high
    • Advised individual and group composition projects, taught the rudiments of music theory, and improved the students’ ear training skills

Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley, 1993-1996


    • Course design, writing syllabus, preparing and grading assignments, giving lectures, leading discussions sections, organizing special field trip events,  guest speakers and student concerts.

Lectures and Pre-Concert Talks


Early Music

 October, 2011:  Pre-concert lecture given for the San Francisco Bach Choir

  • June 2010:  Lecture given on the music of Claudio Monteverdi during the Berkeley Early Music Festival
  • September 2007:   Created a series of internet podcasts for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra as introductions to each of their seven concert sets for the 2007-8 season.
  • 1999 to present, Pre-concert lecturer for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
  • 1997-2001: Resident pre-performance lecturer for the Baroque opera company Teatro Bachino

Pre-opera lectures

  • March 2011 to present: Pre-opera lecturer for Livermore Valley Opera
  • July 2011: Pre-opera lecturer for Festival Opera in Walnut Creek.
  • October 2010: Pre-opera lecturer for Berkeley West Edge Opera

General music history lectures

  • December 2012:  A presentation to the Jane Austen Society of North America on the use of music in film and television adaptations of Austen’s works. 
  • May 2012: Lecture given on the works of Gilbert and Sullivan as a benefit for the San Francisco Night Ministry. 
  • February 2011: Lecture on the music of Hildegard of Bingen given as a benefit for the San Francisco Night Ministry.
  • August 2010:  Lecture given at the summer chamber music intensive course at the Crowden School on the music of Handel.
  • February 2010:  Lecture given on Handel’s Messiah as a benefit for the San Francisco Night Ministry.
  • December 2009: Presentation for the Jane Austen Society of North America on the role of music in the works and life of Jane Austen.
  • August 2009:  Lecture at the summer chamber music intensive course at the Crowden School on the history of the piano.
  • 2006 to present: pre-performance lecturer for Cal Performances visiting performers.
  • December 2003Pre-concert lecturer for the New Century Chamber Orchestra.

Music and Spirituality

  • September 2005:  Lead a weekend retreat on the music and spirituality of Hildegard of Bingen. 
  • July 2005: Co-facilitated a music and spirituality retreat on Bach’s Magnificat. 
  • January 2004: co-facilitated a retreat based on the music and spirituality of Faure’s Requiem.
  • December 2002:  co-facilitated a retreat on the music and spirituality of part I of Handel’s Messiah
  • June 1992: Paper given at a Bach symposium in conjunction with the Berkeley Early Music Festival.



October 2007:  Program notes for Cal Performance’s Bach Festival.


June 2000 to 2002:  Concert reviewer for San Francisco Classical Voice Magazine


September, 1998:    Program notes for  the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's performance of G. F. Handel's oratorio Solomon


1992 and 1996:  Program notes for The Berkeley Early Music Festival. 


[Click for CV as a Word file, 17 kb, PDF,234 kb, also available on the Files page.]

Copyright 2005 -- 2013, page updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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