| Meet the Orchestra
John Lubbock is well known as the founder and conductor of the Orchestra of St John’s. He
began his musical life as a chorister at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle and later, having studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music, went on to sing with the John Alldis choir, was a founder member of the London Symphony Chorus and was a member of the Swingle Singers.
John founded his orchestra in 1967, whilst still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, with the aim of building an orchestra that would serve the community and not just be part of the ‘music scene’.The community bias has been the main drive behind his tireless enthusiasm and life-long commitment to making the highest quality of music making available to those who might otherwise have had little or no musical experience. He has single-handedly gathered around him a group of distinguished musicians who are not only outstanding performers but who share his ethos of bringing music to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Besides the orchestra’s public concerts John and his players give around 40 concerts a year to autistic children and others with learning difficulties through his charity ‘Music for Autism’. They have also over the last three years developed a series of concerts for people with Dementia. Since the birth of his autistic son he has become very involved in the world of music and disabled children. Apart from Music for Autism he is a founder trustee of the Thomley Hall Centre for children with all special needs, where Music for Autism has provided and equipped a music building. He is a trustee of the Music for Life Foundation which enables gifted, but disabled musicians to access music making of the highest calibre and some have performed with OSJ and OSJ Voices. He is also a trustee of the Clear
Sky Foundation, which provides play therapy for emotionally damaged children and with whom the members of OSJ will be participating, again sponsored by Music for Autism.
John is a prison visitor at Huntercombe prison where he is developing a choir which, in the new year, will give a concert with members of OSJ to which the public will be invited. In 1999 John received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music.
Listen to John talking on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live programme about the origins of OSJ and his mission to take classical music out into the community.