Born on 5 March 1949, British countertenor, conductor and teacher John York Skinner was involved with cathedral music for much of his life, beginning as a boy chorister at York Minster. Later he sang in the Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral choirs.
He studied at London University and enjoyed a varied career which included singing renaissance music with the Consort of Musicke, and solo roles at the BBC Proms, Covent Garden, La Scala Milan and Wexford Festival Opera. Later he was conductor of Derby Bach Choir, the Derwent Singers, the Bermuda Chamber Choir and director of the Llandaff Cathedral Girl Choristers.
He was professor of singing at the Royal College of Music in London, director of music at Denstone College and principal of the Bermuda School of Music. He was also an examiner for the Associated Board. His students at Denstone included Lucy Crowe, who gained many of her early solo opportunities when Skinner conducted the Derby Bach Choir.
John York Skinner died on 27 January 2023, aged seventy-two, following a short illness.