John Summers took up the guitar at age 16, and a few years later, after graduating through playing clubs and other venues, joined a touring children’s theatre company as composer, musical director and performer, travelling extensively throughout the eastern states of Australia.
This was followed by session work with ABC radio shows, and culminating in a 13-part TV series for ABC television.
He then became composer-in-residence for the North Queensland Regional Arts association, teaching composition and music theory.
While constantly supplementing his income with music teaching (in schools, jails, universities and music shops), he secured extra work as a musician in various theatre productions, including two at the Sydney Opera House.
He then spent four years in Cambridge, England, making a living as an audio technician, while co- founding a classical guitar society in the region.
On returning to Australia, he secured a job as a musical instrument technician with the Buddy Holly show, touring for five years throughout Australia and New Zealand.
After settling down in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, he constructed a recording studio which specialised in classical and acoustic music. Meanwhile, he continues to add to his catalogue of instrumental compositions (string quartets, guitar solos, duets and trios, guitar and oboe and solo violin), works for string orchestra and chamber orchestra, and many vocal pieces (acapella, and accompanied by string quartet, wind trio, guitar and clarinet, etc.)
The string quartet featured on Playing on the Edge 2 was completed in 2018, and is characterised by a first movement where melody and structure are shared equally by all the players; a second movement of stark contrast where the 1st violin solos over an ostinato figure shared by various combinations of the other instruments, and a third movement which talks constantly between the players.