I studied for a Performer’s diploma in piano and cello at the Royal College of Music from 1976-9 before taking up a Postmastership at Merton to read Literae Humaniores. After graduating, I pursued a career first as a cellist and then in business, but returned to academia in 1994 to research for a doctorate at University College London. I was awarded my PhD in 1998, and became a Fellow of Jesus in 2000.
I have written numerous articles on ancient language, poetry and culture. My book The Greeks and the New: Novelty in ancient Greek imagination and experience was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, and a volume entitled Music, Text, and Culture in Ancient Greece (co-edited with Tom Phillips) was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. I have a particular interest in Greek music and metre, and versify in both Greek and Latin (see Otium Didascali). In 2004 I was commissioned to compose a Pindaric Ode to Athens which was recited at the Athens Olympic Games, and London’s Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned a Greek Ode for the London Olympics 2012.
In 2013 I was awarded a Fellowship from the British Academy to reconstitute the sounds of ancient Greek music. A 15-minute video I presented with Barnaby Brown and Tosca Lynch, ‘Rediscovering ancient Greek Music’, has been viewed online over 500,000 times since it was posted in December 2017. My book Socrates in Love: The Making of a Philosopher was published by Bloomsbury in March 2019.