John Gibbons studied at Queens’ College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music, winning numerous awards as a conductor, pianist and accompanist. He has conducted across the globe including the Spier Festival, Cape Town, the Crested Butte Festival in Colorado, the Romanian premiere of Walton’s First Symphony with the Georges Enescu Philharmonic and Elgar’s First Symphony in Adana, Turkey. He has also given many world premieres including the Third Orchestral Set by Charles Ives, William Alwyn’s Violin Concerto, Martyr by Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik’s Christmas Kompot and Malcolm Arnold’s opera
The Dancing Master.
In October 2016 John conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra at the William Alwyn Festival in Snape Maltings and the Malcolm Arnold Festival in the Derngate, Northampton with soloists Jennifer Pike and Craig Ogden. Both concerts were subsequently broadcast on Radio 3 in December 2016. In November they collaborated again for the centenary performance of t
he UNESCO World Heritage film The Battle of the Somme, score by Laura Rossi, at a packed Royal Festival Hall
John’s recordings include Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony (with a completion of the Finale by Nors Josephson) on the Danacord label with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, 8 Greek Dances by Nikos Skalkottas with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the string concertos of Arthur Benjamin with the RSNO for the Dutton Epoch label, a short film score, The Clandestine Marriage. and Laura Rossi’s film score The Battle of Ancre (Pinewood Studios). Other film work includes the BFI’s presentation of the 1924 film The Open Road at London’s South Bank Centre.
John has conducted numerous productions for Opera Holland Park and most of the major British orchestras including the RPO, BSO, RSNO. CBSO, LPO, BBCSO, and the Philharmonia and Ulster Orchestras. John is Principal Conductor of Worthing Symphony Orchestra, the professional orchestra of West Sussex, presenting concerts in the stunning acoustics of the Assembly Hall, with an array of international artists including Nicola Benedetti, Idil Biret, Tasmin Little, Julian Bliss, Julian Lloyd-Webber and BBC Young Musicians Laura van der Heijden and Martin James Bartlett.
A renowned communicator with audiences, John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his approach. He has worked closely with composer Karl Jenkins, running two national tours of Karl’s choral music in conjunction with EMI Classics. He made the official reduced orchestral version of Jenkins’ Stabat Mater as well as an acclaimed orchestral reduction of Walton’s Troilus & Cressida for Opera St Louis, Missouri.
John is vice-chairman of the British Music Society – promoting and preserving British music – as well as editor of its Journal, and a Trustee of the William Alwyn Foundation. He is also choral director at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol, artistic adviser to the Malcolm Arnold Festival, the Sussex International Piano Competition and the Clifton International Music Festival. He is Music Director of Northampton Symphony Orchestra and Ealing Symphony Orchestra.