Jolyon Dodgson started singing professionally at the age of 7 as a chorister in Hereford and then Chester Cathedrals – and has never stopped! He has enjoyed an extremely varied international career, singing all over the world including venues such as Poland, Turkey, Bangkok, Rhodesia, Australia, Iceland, Hong Kong and most of the European and Scandinavian countries. He has worked with many of the legendary names in the conducting and composing world, including Adrian Boult, John Barbirolli, Charles Groves, Richard Hickox, Charles Mackerras, Simon Rattle, David Wilcocks, John Tavener, Claudio Abbado and many others.
He was trained at the Royal Manchester College of Music under Graham Clifford and Heddle Nash. While still at College he became a Lay-Clerk in York Minster, and then in Chester. He now sings regularly as a part-time Lay-Clerk in Carlisle Cathedral.
He was a founder-member of the BBC Northern Singers and was their principal baritone soloist for many years with hundreds of recordings and public performances to his credit,. For a number of years he was the Director of the MacRobert Arts Centre at Stirling University at which time he also became the Music Director and Conductor of the BBC Scottish Singers. With them he undertook several broadcasts, conducting some and including preparing them for recordings and concerts conducted by the 21-year-old Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. Before moving to Stirling Jolyon was the first tutor in vocal studies at Lancaster University and there he also conducted the University Choral Society and founded and conducted the Chamber Choir. While in Stirling he also conducted the University Choral Society and Orchestra.
Jolyon has served on several music and arts committees and Boards over many years, Nationally he was 'Warden' (i.e.. Chairman) of the Composers and Performers Committee of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and Vice-Chairman of the specialist singers' committee at Equity. In the north he was Chairman for several years of Eden Arts Trust in Penrith. He has recently stepped down as Chairman of Carlisle Festival but still chairs the Westmorland Music Trust which runs the Mary Wakefield Festival in Kendal. He is also Musical Director of Ambleside Choral Society and Lanercost Festival.
Jolyon was awarded MBE for services to music and to the rural communities of Cumbria in the 2016 New Year Honours List.