John was born in Hampshire but spent his early childhood in Kenya and Uganda. In 1999, he moved to Scotland and in 2005, was awarded a place at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. Whilst there, he won the Isobel Dunlop Prize for Composition, judged by James MacMillan. In 2008, he undertook a BA degree in Music at the University of York, focusing on composition, working mainly with Roger Marsh, Bill Brooks and Thomas Simaku. He then went on to study for an MA in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music under Philip Cashian, passing with distinction. During his studies, he was awarded the prestigious Alan Bush Prize for his piano quartet, PROCESSION. He was the recipient of the NCEM 2015 Young Composers Award (19-25) for his piece, ‘Why are you in such a hurry?’.
Selected works include Kaleidoscope for the Torbay Symphony Orchestra, Why are you in such a hurry? for the Dunedin Consort, Long After I Am Dead… for the Edinburgh Incidental Orchestra and Chorus, PROCESSION for the Meridian Piano Quartet, Für Henze und Felix for solo double bass and Estul for Academy Symphonic Wind.
Upcoming commissions include an educational collaboration with the specialist ballet teacher and choreographer, Jane Keenan.
He describes his music as quirky, full of personality and humorous.
John is the Director of Darwin College Choir and is currently studying for a PGCE in Secondary Music at the University of Cambridge.