Born in Glasgow, John took up the oboeaged 11 under the tutelage of Stephen West. Heattended the Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotlandand in 2008 moved to London, enrolling first at the Royal College of Music, and later the Royal Academy of Music, to study with Christopher Cowie, Gareth Hulse, Celia Nicklin and Christine Pendrill.

Since 2011, John has been working in various orchestras around the UK and Ireland, including every symphony orchestra in Glasgow and London. Since 2013 he has been principal oboe in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In the coming season, as well as orchestral concerts, John is looking forward to smaller scale projects with London Winds and London Sinfonietta, and a debut concerto performance with the RPO.