Badley was educated at Exeter University and the Royal College of Music.
During his early career he played the lute with many of Britain’s leading
early music groups, including the Consort of Musicke and The New London
Consort, before founding the innovative medieval ensemble, The Dufay
Collective with whom he toured all over Europe, the Far East and Australia.
Bill Badley has played the lute – and several other plucked instruments –
with The Carnival Band for over 20 years. Their collaborations with one of
England’s most highly regarded traditional singers, Maddy Prior, have
created six CDs and sell out tours around Britain, Europe, the Persian Gulf
Through his interest in the lute, Bill discovered its Middle Eastern
ancestor, the oud: this inspired several years of travelling the Arab world,
learning from and performing with musicians in over a dozen countries
between Morocco and Oman. He taught for several months at the Higher
Institute of Music in Damascus.
Bill Badley has also worked extensively as a radio and television producer.
He has made two major documentaries for Channel 4: Music in the Line of
Fire, about Palestinian musicians and Ken Russell in Search of the
English Folk Song. He is currently presenting a programme for BBC Radio
about Bedouin music.
An interest in music for theatre has led to work with The Royal Shakespeare
Company, The Globe Theatre in London and a tour to Broadway and Australia
with The Young Vic. Film and television appearances include Franco
Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio and several of
the BBC’s acclaimed Shakespeare productions.
Bill Badley regularly writes about Arab music and the lute for various
journals: he is currently revising his contributions to the best selling
reference book, “The Rough Guide to World Music” for a second edition.