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About John Gibbons

conductor, composer, arranger, pianist, and organist

JOHN GIBBONS is a multi-faceted musician: conductor, composer, arranger, pianist, and organist, who works across musical genres including opera, cathedral music and recording neglected British orchestral music.

John has conducted most of the major British orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and, most recently, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has recorded orchestral works by Nikos Skalkottas with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the string concertos of Arthur Benjamin with the RSNO on the Dutton Epoch label, four Mozart Piano Concertos with Idil Biret – two with the London Mozart Players and two with Worthing Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony (with a completion of the finale by Nors Josephson) with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra on the Danacord label, and William Wordsworth’s Orchestral Works (vol. 1) on the Toccata label.

Renowned for his adventurous programming, John has given many world and UK premieres of both new pieces (most recently the Triple Concerto by Errollyn Wallen with Kosmos Ensemble and WSO in Chichester Cathedral) and neglected works including the Third Orchestral Set by Charles Ives, the Violin Concerto by Robert Still, and both the Second Piano Concerto and Violin Concerto by William Alwyn. His recent performance of George Lloyd’s Fourth Symphony with Ealing Symphony Orchestra drew an ecstatic review from Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph.

John recorded Laura Rossi’s film score The Battle of the Ancre (Pinewood Studios) and conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra in her score to The Battle of the Somme at the live screening in the Royal Festival Hall to commemorate the centenary of the ending of this battle.

Overseas work includes Walton’s First Symphony with the George Enescu Philharmonic as well as concerts with the Macedonian Philharmonic, the Çukurova Symphony (Turkey) the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, and performances of Malcolm Arnold’s Fourth Symphony in Latvia and Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony in Worms, Germany.

John Gibbons studied music at Queens’ College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, winning numerous awards as conductor, pianist and accompanist. He assisted John Eliot Gardiner on the ‘Leonore’ project and the recording of music by Percy Grainger, and was Leonard Slatkin’s second conductor for a performance of Charles Ives’s Fourth Symphony with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

He has conducted numerous opera productions at Opera Holland Park with particular emphasis on Verdi, Puccini and the verismo composers, including Mascagni’s Iris and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur. He conducted La Bohème for the Spier Fesitval in South Africa, toured Hansel & Gretel around Ireland with Opera Northern Ireland and Opera Theatre Company, and conducted a number of productions for English Touring Opera. John’s orchestral reductions include Walton’s Troilus & Cressida for Opera St Louis, Missouri and Karl Jenkins’s Stabat Mater.

John, a renowned communicator with audiences, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Vice-Chairman of the British Music Society, and Choral Director at Clifton Cathedral. His own music has been performed in various abbeys and cathedrals as well as at the Southbank, London.