John Woods


John Woods’ career in music and the arts began in the cold of the northern hemisphere, travelled across the globe via Asia and down under into sunny Australia by the early 1990s. A decade later John took up residency in Australia.

He was born in Stirling in Scotland where he entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, studying piano and bassoon. This led to scholarships awarded by The Scottish Arts Council and The Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, to specialise in piano accompaniment at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. John later worked as a guest repetiteur at the Royal Northern College of Music before travelling to the Far East doing similar work at The Hong King Academy for Performing Arts.

In 1992 John joined the staff of The Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, as an accompanist and vocal coach, work that involved preparing many of its operas, including the Australian premiere of Britten’s Billy Budd, a feature of the 1993 Brisbane Biennial Festival.  

His work since then, accompanying singers and instrumentalists on the concert platform, and for radio and television broadcasts, took John on memorable journeys throughout Great Britain, Europe and Australia. And he worked with some of the finest singers of recent British generations including Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Simon Keenlyside and in particular, Jane Eaglen.

Among his most memorable experiences, John accompanied masterclasses given by distinguished singers such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Janet Baker, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Sir Peter Pears and Luigi Alva whom he has also accompanied in recital.

As a Musical Associate for Granada Television, John notched up credits on a wide range of arts and drama programmes including The Dame Joan Hammond Masterclasses, Coronation Street, Sherlock Holmes and Lost Empires. In Lost Empires he worked with the late Sir Laurence Olivier on an eight-hour serialisation of the J. B. Priestley novel of the same name.

John was appointed to the position of accompanist with Brisbane Concert Choir from the beginning of 2006 on the departure of Bronwyn Brown, who had accompanied the choir since its inception.