John Summers began his professional composing career in 1973, writing music for schools for a touring theater company, where he produced every type of production, from educational musicals for young kids to setting curriculum poetry (Shakespeare, Eliot, etc) to music. This continued until 1977, and in the process, he visited every small and large town in the Eastern states of Australia.
In 1978 Summers was chosen as composer and musical director for a 13-part children’s series for ABC Television Sydney. In 1982 he was appointed composer-in-residence in North Queensland, working for the Arts Council.
Meanwhile, between these commitments, Summers made a living as a musician, including roles as a pit musician for various theatrical productions, several being at the Sydney Opera House.
Summers moved to the United Kingdom in 1987 for four years and pursued his alternative career in audio electronics. At the same time, he began composing classical pieces. One of his first pieces made the finals of the Tokyo Classical Guitar Competition in 1988.
In the following years, he wrote extensively for SATB choir and guitar and oboe, amongst other ensemble combinations. His next finalist composition was a 1992 SATB acapella piece for St. Aldate’s in Oxford.
Summers returned to Australia in 1991, where he continued to write for various ensemble combinations, which included a string quartet, wind ensembles, and vocal works, including several song cycles.
In 1995, he designed, built, and operated Lee Street Studios, a recording facility that specializes in recording acoustic and classical music. It is still operating to this day.
Summers continues to write music from his home in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.