A dynamic conductor hailed for “awe-inspiring” (Winnipeg Free Press) performances, John has cemented his reputation as one of Canada’s finest chamber choir conductors. He is the artistic director and co-founder of Polycoro Chamber Choir, and is on the conducting staff with Dead of Winter. After a seven year hiatus, John and his family have returned to Quebec, where he is now based.
John has appeared on stages across the world, pursuing an innovative path as a conductor, music programmer, and immersive experience collaborator known for his uncommonly wide repertoire and willingness to take risks. Equally at home with instruments and singers, John’s inquisitiveness and love of investigation often results in the performance of new music, and music from before 1700. His conducting career has ranged from Belgium (University Chorus for L’Université Catholique de Louvain) to Morocco (Ensemble Voca Me) Winnipeg (Polycoro, Dead of Winter) and Elora (St. John’s, Elora).
John aspired to be a musician from an early age. He studied violin at the age of four, and sang in choirs throughout his childhood. He has degrees in Conducting, Voice, and Violin, having studied privately with Paul van Nevel, (director of the Huelgas Ensemble), Christopher Jackson (SMAM), Andrew Megill (University of Illinois), Konstantin Krechler, and Donna Grescoe.
John is constantly expanding his knowledge of all music ancient and modern. He has conducted the premiers by Andrew Balfour, Norbert Palej, T. Pat Carrabré, Neil Weisenthel, and Isaiah Ceccarelli, and regularly programs repertoire by many of Canada’s leading composers including Anna Sokolovic, Mychael Danna, Vivian Fung, Nicolas Gilbert, Jocelyn Morlock, and Oleksa Lozowchuk.
As an educator John has taught at the Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Sherbrooke, and Montréal Theological College. He loves supporting new talent and enjoys inspiring and offering insight to young musicians as a clinician, adjudicator, and juror.
When not on the podium or in the kitchen, John loves spending time downhill skiing, renaissance fencing, and cheering on the Habs.