John-Paul Muir


After auditioning and being subsequently offered places at both the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (GSMD), I chose to study with New Zealander, Senior Professor Joan Havill, on the Artist Masters programme at the GSMD. In order to finance this study as an international student living and studying in London, I had to embark on a significant fundraising drive.

I was fortunate enough to receive substantial financial assistance in the form of scholarships from the University of Auckland, and this played an essential role in enabling me to further my studies in London. I was awarded the Anne Reid Memorial Trust Scholarship in 2011, and this helped to finance the second year of my Masters programme.

I graduated from the GSMD in February 2013 with a Master of Performance degree with distinction. My time at the GSMD was intensive, and hugely inspiring. The environment of the school, and indeed the wider London music scene continues to invigorate me and open my eyes to new possibilities.

I primarily studied solo piano repertoire with Professor Havill, however I also took a classical improvisation paper with David Dolan, and participated in a project with Paul Roberts on Ravelʼs piano music, in which I contributed a performance of Le Tombeau de Couperin at a lecture-recital he gave at Wigmore Hall.

I am now enjoying a freelance performance career in both the classical and jazz worlds, alongside maintaining a small teaching studio in Bloomsbury. Iʼm a member of Goodenough College, where I host a weekly jazz jam session that regularly features guest appearances by musicians from the London circuit in addition to showcasing musicians from within the College itself. I also curate the Goodenough Concert Series, which features recitals by local musicians, many of whom are students at the top London music conservatoires.

I was recently involved in the 2013 Bloomsbury Festival, where I gave a classical recital at the Dairy Art Centre (a fantastic new contemporary art space), curated the festival jazz stage, and collaborated on an audio/visual presentation of 30,000 Gods & Myths from the Warburg Institute which culminated in a performance in which I improvised a solo piano soundtrack in response to a visual presentation prepared by François Quiviger from the Institute.

Other career highlights from the past few years include an invitation to participate in the 2011 Oxford Philomusica International Piano Festival and Summer Academy, a week-long series of concerts at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Royal Over-Seas  League series, a residency as one of the official pianists participating in the New Zealand exhibit at the 54th Venice Biennale, and a performance for Her Majesty the Queen, during the 80th anniversary celebrations of Goodenough College.

Iʼm looking forward to visiting New Zealand in March 2014 for a Chamber Music New Zealand Encompass tour with the Rangitoto Trio (Amalia Hall – violin, and Callum Hall – cello).

November 2013