John is a dynamic and versatile conductor with a wide-ranging repertoire hailed as “a new force in our world.” Equally at home in chamber or orchestral settings, he is widely recognized for his eloquent interpretations, persuasive musicality, and emotional connection to music and performers.
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.
Currently residing in Winnipeg, John is Artistic Director of Polycoro, a professional chamber choir whose third season ended with Between Gods, a concert dedicated to Icelandic music of the Christian and Pagan choral traditions, presenting North American debuts of works by Thøra Marteinsdottir and Hreiðar Ingi paired with works by Canadian Cy Giacomin. Next season John will present 5 concerts with Polycoro, including concerts in partnership Cluster, new music + integrated arts festival, and the Winnipeg New Music Festival.
A passionate presenter of Canadian new music, John is honored to premiere new works nearly every concert. Last season he presented major new works by Andrew Balfour and Norbert Palej, and this upcoming season he will premiere new works by Pat Carrabré, Neil Weisenthel, and Isaiah Ceccarelli. He also presents many of Canada’s leading composers including Anna Sokolovic, Mychael Danna, Vivian Fung, Nicolas Gilbert, Oleksa Lozowchuk.
John was recently appointed Chorusmaster of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Chorus. This newly formed ensemble will present the Messiah with the Symphony in December of 2017.
John is also an avid early music specialist. Next season he will present 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. This will be the third concert he has presented with Camerata Nova since stepping in for his mentor Christopher Jackson, and he was recently named co-curator and conductor of the ensemble. With Polycoro and Camerata Nova both, John is well known for his interpretations of early masters from John Tavener to J.S. Bach.
John loves the schola environment, which he fosters in support of St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church. This schola is dedicated to the promotion of Chant and Renaissance Polyphony.
John loves music in its many forms. Anyone who wishes to have their scores reviewed by John with a view to performance need only contact him via this website.