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After gaining a Law Degree from Oxford University, John King embarked upon a twin track musical career as a trumpet player and orchestral manager. He studied the trumpet with Cecil Kidd at the (then) Northern School of Music in Manchester, and later, in London, with Wesley Woodage, Bernard Brown and John Wallace. He pursued his special interest in baroque music, including the natural trumpet and cornetto, with Don Smithers, Michael Laird and Stephen Keavy.
John’s management experience began at the age of 21 as Concerts Manager with the Northern Sinfonia of England in Newcastle upon Tyne, before returning to Oxford to found the city’s first professional orchestra, the City of Oxford Orchestra. As General Manage/Artistic Director over a period of twenty-five years, he directed the concert programming and artist liaison, dealing personally with many distinguished soloists and conductors, and oversaw the private and public sector fund-raising programme. Under his stewardship the Orchestra achieved national and international standing with a busy schedule, serving a regional circuit, making regular London appearances, undertaking several European tours to Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Spain and making numerous broadcasts and recordings. The Orchestra also enjoyed recurring festival residencies in Dorchester on Thames and Bristol, and, through the creation of Oxford Music Theatre, forged a nationwide touring collaboration with the Oxford Playhouse Company.
After moving on from the City of Oxford Orchestra, John formed his own management company, Joyful Noise Productions Ltd, focussing on the international development and management of specialist groups, with a particular interest in ensemble music for trumpets and organ through such groups as La Réjouissance and the Fantini Consort. The company’s educational interests have included the creation of youth music groups, the organisation of international music courses, and the mentoring of school musical productions.
In parallel with these on-going musical interests, John has undertaken a series of consultancies for orchestras, concert venues and promoters in London, Oxford and Paris. As Planning Consultant to the Oxford Philomusica he designed a major 2009 bicentennial Festival – Dr Haydn, Friends, Forbears and Followers – laid the foundations for a regional touring circuit, and created further touring opportunities in Scandinavia and the low countries. An association with the Paris based agency, La Toison d’Art, produced a UK tour for the St Petersburg Mussorgsky Choir, and from 1994 – 97 John managed Oxford’s first purpose-built concert hall since the 18th century, the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building.
In addition to his present mission to develop the UK and European markets for Latitude 45 artists, John is currently working as Project Consultant to a £2M scheme to convert the Oxford church of St John the Evangelist into a 500 seat performing arts venue. John has homes in Oxfordshire and the Laurentians which he shares with his Montreal born wife, Thérèse.