John Harle's music encompasses Opera, Choral, Symphonic and Chamber music. His music is dramatic, accessible and often otherworldly, gaining inspiration from history, folklore and mythic stories.
The 14th Century 'avantgardist' composers such as Guillame de Machaut were an early influence whist John was an actor/musician in the Music Department of the National Theatre, London, under the tutelage of Harrison Birtwistle and Dominic Muldowney.
He has had four commissions from the BBC Proms, including his first Opera, 'Angel Magick', based on the life of Elizabethan alchemist John Dee. His second opera, 'The Ballad of Jamie Allan' was commissioned by the Sage, Gateshead, and was the story of a rogue Northumbrian piper, horse-thief and army deserter.
'Terror and Magnificence' brought many of these historical influences together with vocalist Elvis Costello in a Grammy-nominated album that reached No.1 in the US Billboard charts, and culminated in a sell-out concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
In recent years, he has composed a rich stream of works, including his saxophone concerto 'The Little Death Machine' (BBC Proms), City Solstice (for Kings College Cambridge Choir) and Earthlight (for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra).
In film and television, he has composed over 100 scores including major feature films, television drama and documentaries. He won the Royal Television Society award for Best TV Theme Music for his theme for BBC1's Silent Witness, and his first film score 'Prick Up Your Ears', composed with Stanley Myers, won Best Artistic Achievement in a Feature Film at the Cannes Film Festival.
John was also Artistic Consultant and Advisor to Sir Paul McCartney for six years, and helped Sir Paul bring many of his recording and concert-hall projects to fruition, in classical and non-classical styles.