Born in Sydney, Australia, John Talbot completed his piano studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and, while still a student, performed piano concertos by Bartók and Ravel with the Queensland and Melbourne Symphony orchestras. Following a year’s engagement with the Australian Ballet as rehearsal pianist, and post-graduate studies in Music at the University of Melbourne, he undertook further musical study in the United Kingdom as the first recipient of the Robert Dalley-Scarlett Memorial Scholarship. He has been much involved since then with the music of British composers of the early twentieth century.
As a concert pianist he has appeared with such distinguished artists as the baritones John Carol Case and Brian Rayner Cook, the violinists Ann Hooley, Yfrah Neaman, and Donald Scotts, the clarinettists Philip Michel and David Sheppard, and the cellists Jo Cole and Timothy Hugh. He has held lecturing positions at the Portsmouth Polytechnic and the Victorian College of the Arts, and also taught piano performance at the Bishopsgate Institute in London. For Thames Publishing he has prepared a thirteen-volume Centenary Edition of vocal and keyboard music by E.J. Moeran; and more recently, as Chairman of the British Music Society Charitable Trust, he has overseen the editing and publication of solo songs of Michael Hurd. He was Artistic Adviser to the 1994 Tudeley Festival, which celebrated the centenary of Moeran’s birth; and for a season he was engaged as Musical Director at the English Theatre in Hamburg.
As a former Recordings Producer for the British Music Society, of which he was also the Chairman for many years, John Talbot oversaw a number of major recording projects in the process of creating the Society’s significant catalogue of sound recordings over some two decades. He has recorded for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; and his commercial discography includes, for Chandos, Moeran’s Violin Sonata (with violinist Donald Scotts) and the same composer’s Complete Solo Songs (with soprano Geraldine McGreevy, tenor Adrian Thompson, and baritone Roderick Williams).