Born in Kent John studied at Trinity College of Music before freelancing as a cellist. He was employed by the Royal Northern Sinfonia as player and manager, and appointed Chief Executive in 1992. In this role he had central involvement in concept development and planning for the building now known as the Sage, Gateshead.
John joined the Hallé as Chief Executive in 1999, where he has been involved in a number of changes and initiatives. These include setting up the Hallé recording label, founding the Halle family of ensembles including the a Youth Orchestra, Youth Choir, Children’s Choir and Training choir, instigating the Halle Professional Experience Schemes and helping deliver a new rehearsal and recording facility for the Orchestra and its ensembles.
John was a member of the Board of the Association of British Orchestras between 1991 – 8, serving three years as Chairman. From 2003 – 2005 he was National Lead Advisor on Music to the Arts Council of England. He is a member of the Board of the Royal Northern College of Music and President of the Lakeland Sinfonia Concerts Society.