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.
Miriam Margolyes and John have recently completed a 3rd Australian tour for Andrew McKinnon, this time in a show devised 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, 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 times, across various genres. In 2013 he performed Schubert’s “Schwanengesang” for Art Song NSW with rising star tenor Robert MacFarlane, and in 2014 performed several concerts with celebrated flautist Jane Rutter, with whom he will again be working in 2016.
Solo performance has always played a significant part in John’s concert career, and he can present on short notice a programme that ranges from popular classics by the great masters to ragtime and music of the jazz era. In December 2015 he gave a recital for the Piano At 10 series for Arts Bundanoon.
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, and in July 2015 they brought this show to the Noosa Festival in Queensland. In February 2016 they will again present it, this time for Teatro Vivaldi’s in Canberra.
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. This format wherein Amanda narrated ( with the narrative devised by Rodney Fisher), with music by Elena Kats-Chernin proved a resounding success, and they then followed this with sold-out shows of “Hansel and Gretel”, again at the Opera House.
2016 began with John giving an entertaining interview laced with performance for Michael Morton-Evans’ “In Conversation” on Radio Fine Music FM in Sydney.
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”.
In a busy concert diary for 2016 are to be found more than a dozen classical recitals with renowned musical partners, and as many shows and cabarets in such locations as Canberra, Geelong, Bundaberg, Lithgow, and the Gold Coast, as well as venues in Sydney. In May, John will join famous troupe The Ten Sopranos in a concert tour of South Australia.
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.
In addition to his work as a performer, John is now gaining a reputation as a fine composer with some 30 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. A collection of his works thus far for piano is being planned with Wirripang.
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