Born in 1970, John’s early musical studies centred on the violin and viola, first at the RSAMD junior department and then at St.Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. Having been offered a scholarship to enter the Royal Northern College of Music, he continued studying viola with Simon Rowland-Jones and Nicholas Logie leaving to pursue other interests in 1991. He was then offered the chance to work in Denmark as an accompanist and coach and also as conductor for the Nordvestjyske Sinfonie Orkester.

John returned in 1996 to study piano accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he won a Sir Henry Richardson Award in his first year. He was awarded a GSMD bursary and scholarship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Award to continue at the Guildhall for a second year in which he won the schools Schubert and the Armourers and Brasiers Accompaniment Prize in 1998 and 1999.
John has taken part in masterclasses given by Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Sarah Walker, Iain Burnside and Robin Bowman and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, St.John's Smith Square, the Barbican Hall and at the Edinburgh and Cheltenham International Music festivals. He also took part in the Young Songmakers Masterclasses 1998 and again in 2000.