Born in 1978 and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, John started playing French horn at 10. By 12 he was studying with Stephen Barzal and then with Peter Kurau of the Eastman School. He won the Maryland Solo and Ensemble competitions for horn and played in the Maryland All-State Orchestra. While still in high school, he was principal horn in the Chesapeake Youth Symphony, the Maryland Youth Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. With San Francisco he appeared at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Gewanthaus in Leipzig, Tivoli Hall in Denmark and the Rathaus in Vienna.
He entered Harvard in 1995 and began studying horn with Eric Ruske. While continuing to hone his French horn skills, he also started composing and, in 1999, won the Harvard Bach Society Composition Competition for two orchestral works. As polymathic as his father, he also won the Eliot House Prize for Mathematics and Physics, the Wendell Scholarship, the Institute for Advanced Studies Summer Fellowship in Mathematics – all this while pursuing advanced studies in Greek and Latin.
While at Harvard, John also studied conducting with James Yannatos. This led him to organize and conduct an orchestra and singers for a series of concert performances that included the Mozart Requiem, a Mozart/Beethoven/Wagner program (the Rain Forest Benefit Concert), his father's grand opera Ethan Frome, and his father’s epic song cycle, Songs of Love and Death (the latter two have been recorded by Mapleshade).
Since graduating from Harvard, John has continued his conducting and French horn performing career, most recently performing at the Aspen Summer Festival. He has been studying conducting with Gerhard Samuel, Donald Portnoy, David Milnes, and with Ken Kiesler at the Conductor's Retreat in Maine. In Aspen, he has been studying with David Zinman and Murray Sidlan. He has conducted Brahms, Mozart and Allanbrook works with the Plevin Philharmonic in Bulgaria and, in 2004, conducted the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra performing the two symphonies on this CD.
At the same time, John remains committed to composing and has, by now, created a substantial body of work: this includes Esto Memor, a work for symphony orchestra, The Cello Suite for solo cello, Correspondance, a set of vocal pieces for 6 singers, 2 pianos and 2 percussionists, and two cycles of lieder, one setting poems by Philip Larkin and the other poems by Louise Bogan.
|Songs of Love and Death (#06892)||Ethan Frome (#07182)||The Majesty of the Horn (#07682)||Symphony No. 2 and No.3 (#11882)|
(click to enlarge)