Dr Jon Banks

Senior Lecturer, Music

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of Music and Performing Arts

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Music

Courses taught: Music, Popular Music

Jon is a specialist in Middle Eastern music and a professional performer on santouri, qanun, harp and accordion.

Untitled Page



As a member of The Burning Bush, The Dufay Collective, The Jocelyn Pook Ensemble and Sirinu, Jon has recorded, broadcast and toured throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Other projects include ZRI, reinventing romatic masterpieces like the Brahms clarinet quintet for gypsy band; collaborations with Joglaresa, Red Byrd, and Merit Ariane; and improvisation with Notes Inegales and Bushra El-Turk.

Jon is a regular musical director at the Globe Theatre and RSC, records freelance for film and TV, and moonlights as accordionist for the Tivoli Café Band.

Research interests

  • Middle Eastern music and performance
  • Mechanical music
  • Eastern European music and the classical tradition

Areas of research supervision

  • Middle Eastern music
  • Mechanical music


Jon teaches on the modules Introduction to World Music, World Music Regional Studies, The Global Marketplace, and The Languages of Music


  • DPhil Music, University of Oxford
  • BA (Hons) Music, University of Oxford

Selected recent publications

The Dufay Collective, 2016. I Have Set My Hert So Hy: Love and Devotion in C15 England. Avis.

Banks, J., 2015. ‘Una povera fanciulla tedesca: the Dulcimer Player in Filippo Bonanni’s Gabinetto armonico’. Accepted by Early Music.

Banks, J., 2015. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music. Lawson, C. and Stowell, R. (Eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Five entries in preparation.

ZRI, 2015. Brahms and the Gypsy: Clarinet Quintet op.115. ZRI Music.

Notes Inegales, 2014. Kafka’s Wound, in collaboration with Will Self.

Selected film session playing
Rosewater (Howard Shore, 2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat, 2013)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (James Newton Howard, 2013)

Henry IV (Richard Eyre, BBC, 2012)

Selected theatre (performer and musical director)
The Broken Heart (John Ford, Globe, 2015)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Simon Armitage, Globe, 2014)

The Comedy of Errors (Globe, 2014)

Prince Ahmed (Barbican; live film accompaniment with Bushra El-Turk, 2013)

Anne Boleyn (Howard Brenton, Globe 2010-11; national tour 2012)

Marat/Sade (Peter Weiss, RSC, 2011)