John Peterson was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, and studied composition at the University of Sydney under the guidance of Peter Sculthorpe, Eric Gross, and Ross Edwards. John has written chamber music for the Australia Ensemble, Halcyon, Grevillea Ensemble, and the Omega Ensemble. His music composed for orchestra has been performed and/or recorded by the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and Sydney Youth Orchestra, and also by the Auckland Philharmonia and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, and in Britain by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. On two occasions, in 1997 and in 2001, John was a semi-finalist for Masterprize, an international competition for new orchestral music administered jointly by BBC Music Magazine and the London Symphony Orchestra. In Australia in 2005, he was the winner of the prestigious Albert H. Maggs Composition Award. His recent compositional output includes several large-scale choral works including Shadows and Light (2004), Mourning and the Light Within (2006), and Dreams and Visions (2011).
John Peterson graduated from the University of Sydney with a Doctorate in Composition in 2003, and has been a member of the Music Staff within the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, since 2004. As a Senior Lecturer John teaches composition, harmony and counterpoint, and courses in film music, and is the musical director of the Contemporary Composition Ensemble.