(Ernest) John Robertson (b. 1943) was born in New Zealand but is a longtime resident of Canada. His secondary school offered music as a full time subject, allowing Robertson to find his footing. Upon leaving school, he went into the insurance business where he spent his working life. Having emigrated to Canada in 1967, he continued to compose on the side.
Post retirement, he has concentrated on getting his work heard more broadly, now having his compositions played in Canada, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Austria, Hungary, and China. In 2014, the Rusé Philharmonic (Bulgaria) gave two performances of his music, and subsequently the State Opera Rusé commissioned an opera from him. Orpheus – a Masque premiered in 2015, with revivals in 2016 and 2017 when it was one of the test pieces in the Blue Danube Opera Conducting competition. A companion piece for Orpheus, Lady Jane — a dance piece with actors — appeared in 2017. A new production of this was staged in Stara Zagora in 2022.
His output covers most genres and five of his six symphonies have been recorded and released on Navona Records, along with other works including concertos for trumpet and clarinet. He resides in Kingston, Ontario.