John Whitener, Principal Tuba of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, took up his position with the orchestra in 2009. Since joining the RSNO, John has performed and recorded with the orchestra extensively, including tours throughout Europe, China, and the USA. As part of a co-commission with the RSNO, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Curtis Institute of Music, John was one of two tuba players who performed the premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s “Tuba Concerto”. John Performed the European premiere of the concerto in Glasgow and Edinburgh in May 2018 with John Storgårds conducting. John has also performed with many of the great orchestras around Europe and the globe including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Opera, the Ulster Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others. During his career John has played in many of the worlds most prestigious venues including the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall in New York, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the Royal Albert Hall in London. John has also had the pleasure of working under conductors such as Andre Previn, Valery Gergiev, and Sir Simon Rattle.
John took up the tuba at the age of 10 beginning his studies with his father, William Whitener, a successful trumpet player in New England. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy where he studied with Tom Riccobono, John received his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Paul Krzywicki (formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra). After one year of study at the Yale School of Music with Toby Hanks, John then went on to earn his Graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School where he studied with David Fedderly of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2007 John moved to the Netherlands to study under Hendrik-Jan Renes of the Rotterdam Philharmonic at the Rotterdam Codarts Conservatory.
Although orchestrally focused, John often performs as a soloist as well, including a performance of the Gregson Tuba Concerto with the Ayrshire Symphony Orchestra in March 2018, in addition to the European Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Tuba Concerto in May 2018. As well as performing as a soloist and orchestral player, John also teaches, adjudicates, coaches, and delivers masterclasses regularly around the globe. He is currently the Tuba and Euphonium Specialist at the prestigious private school “The High School of Glasgow”, and has also taught and delivered masterclasses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. John has coached for the Faroese National Brass Band Festival, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, The Dunbartonshire Concert Band, the East Dumbartonshire Wind Band, and adjudicated for the Scottish Concert Band Festival.