Clive Brown read History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and following graduation in 1969 stayed on to take part 2 of the Music Tripos. After a period teaching music and performing as a violinist, he turned to research, gaining his D. Phil in 1980 at Oxford, where he was a member of the Faculty of Music and lecturer at Queen’s and Brasenose Colleges between 1980 and 1991. After a period of freelance work, concert planning both for the South Bank Centre, London and the Official Edinburgh Festival, he accepted a post at Bretton Hall, College of the University of Leeds. There he has served as Head of School (1997-2002) and after the merger with the Department of Music on the Leeds campus, Director of Research (2003-5) and then Head of School (2006-9) of the newly formed School of Music at the University of Leeds.
He has published widely on 18th- and 19th-century topics, particularly performing practice, and remains active as a concert violinist specialising in the historically-informed performance of Classical and Romantic music. He is regularly invited to direct historical performance workshops and give guest lectures at universities and conservatories internationally; since 1997 in Germany (Berlin, Leipzig, Carlsruhe), Austria (Vienna), Switzerland (Bern, Lucerne, Basel), Netherlands (Utrecht), Belgium (Brussels), Spain (Barcelona, Alcala, Seville), Italy (Venice, Cremona, Padua, La Spezia), USA (Washington D.C., Stanford Ca.), Australia (Sydney).