‘an author deeply, authoritatively and lovingly immersed in his subject’ (MusicWeb International)

I have written five books on Mozart focusing mainly on his instrumental music (keyboard works, concertos, chamber music).

My biography of Mozart, The Treasures of Mozart is FIVE STAR Rated on

‘…an accessible and highly informative guide to the life and work of Wolfgang Mozart’ (Bokkilden)




The Mozart Project is the first digital interactive book on Mozart, released in 2014 for iPad by The Pipedreams Collective.

I am a major contributor to this project, featuring chapters on Mozart’s Concertos and Chamber Music, along with numerous audio and video interviews and filmed performances of extracts from Mozart’s chamber music and concertos (with Ensemble DeNOTE).

‘Got it. Love it!’ (Stephen Fry)


Mozart’s Piano Concertos is now core material for university teaching of this repertoire:

Reviews: ‘… its good-sense and clarity plus the vast increase in our knowledge since the last comparable survey makes this an essential companion for players, students and listeners of this amazing body of music.’ Early Music Review

‘of great value’ Music and Letters

‘… the literature on Mozart’s piano concertos is rich, vast and complex. The author’s goal was to produce an “accessible, up-to-date handbook” for students, pianists, and listeners, and the outcome is very successful… it may be the “handiest” book on Mozart concertos yet to appear… An excellent treatment of an important repertoire, the book includes elaborate footnotes and an excellent bibliography… Highly recommended.’ Choice

‘This strikes me as a most thorough and recommendably detailed study by an author already deeply and authoritatively and lovingly immersed in his subject… Recommended for academics, and as a handbook for practising musicians.’ Musicweb

‘If it’s information you want about Mozart’s piano concertos, this is the book to have… packed with facts… an up-to-date and generally accurate survey of the current state of knowledge and thinking about this corpus of music, which is so rich, so wide in its expressive range, and (dare I say?) so beautiful: and isn’t it that that makes it worth writing and reading about.’ Gramophone

Understanding Mozart’s Piano Sonatas explores a relatively undervalued strand of Mozart’s instrumental output in broad historical and hermeneutic contexts:

Reviews: ‘Reading Irving will broaden appreciation and swiftly eliminate any notion that the page open on the piano’s music stand is The Work… John Irving’s books ought to become prescribed reading for serious aspiring pianists and their teachers; copies should be in every College/Academy Piano Department’s library.’ Musical pointers

‘Especially informative are chapters on early editions, early texts, and primary sources…The bibliography is extensive and nudges the reader toward further exploration. Early music specialists and fortepianists will find this volume especially intriguing… Recommended.’ Choice

‘In becoming ‘defamiliarised from the familiar’, one’s desire to know more and to understand better becomes enhanced; and Irving’s two major contributions to the study of Mozart’s keyboard sonatas achieve a great deal towards this better understanding.’ Ad Parnassum

‘… an inspiring contribution to Mozart studies that addresses the meeting point of analysis, reception history and performance practice … a wealth of information and well-reasoned analysis.’ Early Music

My previous books on Mozart are

Mozart’s Piano Sonatas: contexts, sources, style (Cambridge, 1997) 


4*- rated on

‘solid, reliable and erudite’ Early Music




 Mozart – the “Haydn” Quartets (Cambridge, 1998)

‘well-written, concise, and factually relevant…a superb job’ Music Theory Online

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