John Martin’s work is very familiar to concert goers and listeners to Australia’s classical radio networks. He has been featured three times on ABC Classic FM’s Drive Time segment “On the Verandah”, and is very frequently broadcast by the network. In addition to his many other recordings, his 2013 release on the Wirripang label “The Ring of New Bells”—a collection of Miriam Hyde’s piano works—was given extensive airplay.
He is a former recipient of grants for overseas study from the Australia Council Music Board and Opera Foundation, and studied in England with pianists Clifford Benson and Paul Hamburger.
The first half of 2012 saw John touring Australia and New Zealand for the second time in “Dickens’ Women” with popular British actress Miriam Margolyes, both tours presented by Andrew McKinnon Productions, after which he performed in a series of recitals as half of the Jacono-Martin Duo with violinist Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich, along with other concert and show engagements.
In 2014 Miriam Margolyes and John completed a 3rd Australian tour for Andrew McKinnon, this time in a show devised for them by director Peter Adams entitled “The Importance of Being Miriam!” This is now available as a DVD on the ABC Classics label.
John has been M.D. for Australia’s Got Talent winner Mark Vincent, including as recently as 10/03/18, and for many years has also been M.D. for The Australian Tenors courtesy of Australian Global Entertainments, and “Remembering the Carpenters” with Lisa Budin.
In parallel with show work of this type he maintains a very busy concert schedule, and is frequently to be seen and heard partnering many of Australia’s best known Classical singers and instrumentalists. Peter Cousens, David Hobson, Marina Prior, Stuart Maunder, Greta Bradman, Yvonne Kenny, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, gypsy-jazz violinist Ian Cooper, Dominica Matthews, and Glenn Winslade are just some of the many fine performers with whom John has worked in recent years, across various genres. In 2013 he performed Schubert’s “Schwanengesang” for Art Song NSW with rising star tenor Robert MacFarlane, and in 2014 and 2016 performed several concerts with celebrated flautist Jane Rutter, with whom he again performed in 2017 in company with soprano Catherine Bouchier, as part of Jane’s “Live at Lunch” series at the Chatswood Concourse.
In June 2018 Jane Rutter and John completed a concert tour of China.
John and acclaimed baritone Jose Carbo are doing a series of recitals together in 2018, and he has also recently completed a series of concerts with well-known singing troupe The Ten Sopranos in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.
Solo performance has always played a significant part in John’s concert career, and he recently premiered his own show singing and playing his own songs along with popular classical piano solos, ragtime and music of the jazz era.
Cabaret work is a regular entry in John’s performance diary, and he has worked with Simon Ward, Katie McKee and Stuart Maunder in several seasons of Opera Bite’s “Noel, Cole and Gertie”, and with Simon in “Simon Says” and many other performances. In 2014 he and actress Amanda Muggleton premiered their show “The Men That Got Away (Thank God!)”. That same year he performed “Unseen: The Voice of Hollywood (The Marni Nixon Story)” in the Ballarat Cabaret Festival with rising star Melody Beck. In July 2015 they brought the show to the Noosa Festival in Queensland. In February 2016 they again presented it, this time for Teatro Vivaldi’s in Canberra. They again performed it in 2017 in such places as Ringwood Victoria and Queanbeyan NSW, and were guest entertainers for the Australia-Britain Society’s celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary.
Also in 2017, John worked for Federation University’s Eora TAFE at Redfern, Musical Directing the 3rd Year production of the Stephen Schwartz show “Working”.
Another recent successful venture has seen John in partnership with Amanda Muggleton and Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich presenting the Hans Christian-Anderson fairy tale “Wild Swans”, first on ABC Classic FM in 2014, then at the Sydney Opera House in 2015. With a narrative devised by Rodney Fisher and music by Elena Kats-Chernin, this production proved a resounding success. They then followed this with sold-out shows in similar format of “Hansel and Gretel”, again at the Opera House.
January 2016 also found John in the Perth “Fringe World” cabaret festival with brilliant young star Amelia Ryan doing multiple performances of Amelia’s shows “Storm In a D-Cup” and “Lady Liberty”.
John has been a frequent adjudicator for music competitions, and his guidance and mentoring abilities mean that he is also kept very busy working with aspiring young performers, something very close to his heart!
In addition to his work as a performer, John is now gaining a reputation as a fine composer with some 40 works published thus far, and on October 4th, 2014 he presented an hour of his own works (published by Wirripang Publications) as part of “Sounding Australia”, a composers’ festival put on by Music Teachers’ Association N.S.W. Two volumes of his works for solo piano were recently released by Wirripang.