For composer John Turner, the turning point in his musical career came at the age of 23, the first time he heard Gorecki's 3rd Symphony. "This", he says, "is what I want to do with music." After a 5 year hiatus, John returned to studying and composing music again. The "this" Turner refers to has to do with the quest to create beauty, search for spiritual heights, heal, and affect real change in the world. He attempts to do so through music, which he believes has the ability to enlighten and transform if the right elements come together, as Gorecki's 3rd Symphony did.
A native of Arkansas, John attended Boston University's Tanglewood Institute while in high school and later participated in NYU's Composer & Sound Technology Workshop that featured master classes with John Corigiliano and Richard Danielpour, among others. In 2008, John was named a finalist for the Sacatar Institute Artist Residency in Bahia, Brazil and the New Dramatists Music-Theater Workshop in NYC. In 2005, he was selected to serve as an artist in residency at La Napoule Art Foundation in southern France. John was named a finalist for the Ned Rorem Award for Song for the piece Up-Hill in 2004 and his piece for mixed chorus and orchestra, Not All, Only A Few Return, from the poem by the Pushcart Prize winning poet Agha Shahid Ali, was awarded a Jerome Foundation/American Composer's Forum/Vocal Essence reading in Minneapolis.
John's film scores include the feature documentary Do I Sound Gay? (IFC Films, Sundance Selects, Toronto International Film Festival, 2014) and the thriller You Belong to Me (Wolfe Releasing, 2008), which features strings by the powerhouse NYC string band ETHEL. Short films include Welcome to the Promised Land, Dearly Departed (Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2011), My Night with Andrew Cunanan (Frameline 36, 2012), and the comedy Clara's Carma (BendFilm Festival, 2010). Film scores additionally include (partial listing) the independent feature drama Alma Mater (Hamptons Film Festival and Austin Film Festival, Audience Award, 2002), the comedy short films Slo-Mo (Sundance, Telluride, HBO, 2002) and Passengers (Deauville Film Festival, Winner, Special Jury Prize, 2002, Deauville, France; Sundance Film Festival, 2002). John's music for television has been used on NBC's The Voice, The Late Show with Steven Colbert, Vice, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, among others.
John played keyboards for several NYC downtown bands/artists including Phillips & Driver and on Broadway for the hit show Jekyll & Hyde. He most recently composed and performed new music for the musical Machine Gun America in the 2016 New York Fringe Festival. He is currently writing lyrics and composing music for the new musical This Life that centers around stories of a grief support group. John's music, along with the music of Moby and other artists, was part of multi-media artist Romeo Alaeff's work for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Chelsea Art Museum video installation, Crybaby. John's piece Naming, for mezzo-soprano and piano, debuted in Paris in 2012 by the Trans-Atlantismes Trio and the piece Three Rounds on the Hill of Winter had a 2009 performance by tenor Tommy Wazelle in Tel Aviv. John is a member of ASCAP, American Composer's Forum, and The Society of Composers and Lyricists.