John is a dynamic and versatile conductor with a wide-ranging repertoire hailed for his artistry, impeccable musicianship, and bold programming. Equally at home in chamber or orchestral settings, he is widely recognized for his many contributions to the Canadian musical landscape.
Born into a musical family in small – town Manitoba, John aspired to be a musician from an early age. He studied violin and piano, and sang in the All Saints Men and Boys choir in Winnipeg. His conducting career has ranged from Belgium (University Chorus for L’Université Catholique de Louvain) to Morocco (Ensemble Voca Me) to Montreal (St. Matthias Anglican Church in Westmount, Ensemble Bellechose). He holds degrees in Violin, Voice, and Conducting, and has been fortunate to study with Robert Ingari, Christopher Jackson, and Andrew Megill.
With Polycoro and Camerata Nova, John has premiered major new works by Andrew Balfour, Norbert Palej, Pat Carrabré, Neil Weisenthel, and Isaiah Ceccarelli. He has recent repertoire includes works by many of Canada’s leading composers – Anna Sokolovic, Mychael Danna, Vivian Fung, Nicolas Gilbert, and Oleksa Lozowchuk.
John is fascinated by the link between early music and post-modernist music, and studies both regularly. He recently received a development grant from the Canada Arts Council, and will be spending most of the summer in Belgium studying with reknowned early music specialist Paul van Nevel, founder of the Huelgas Ensemble.
John is also an avid early music specialist, recently presenting A Tale of Two Cities with Camerata Nova, a concert exploring some of the grandest large scale music from Venice during the time of Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli. John’s early music activities stretch from his historically informed interpretations of early masters from John Tavener and Machaut to J.S. Bach.