The English violinist, conductor and teacher, John Holloway, studied in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
After initial engagements, including at the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and at the English Chamber Orchestra, he was the manager and concertmaster of the Kent Opera Orchestra in the 1970’s. After an encounter with Sigiswald Kuijken in 1972, he started playing the Baroque violin next to the modern violin. He devoted himself increasingly to the Baroque violin. Holloway gained a reputation as violinist, teacher and conductor in the field of historically informed performance..
In 1970 John Holloway became the concertmaster of Roger Norrington’s London Classical Players and later of Andrew Parrott's Taverner Players, and continued to hold these two posts for many years, leading groundbreaking performances and recordings of repertoire from the Florentine Intermedii to Johannes Brahms symphonies. This has in turn led to numerous projects featuring Holloway as conductor and/or director from the violin, in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Benjamin Britten. Holloway is one of the most experienced concertmasters in the Early Music world, having led orchestras for such diverse directors as William Christie (Les Arts Florissants), Christopher Hogwood (The Academy of Ancient Music), Gustav Leonhardt (Leonhardt-Consort), Ton Koopman (Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra), Jean-Claude Malgoire (),Nicholas McGegan (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), Trevor Pinnock (The English Concert), Peter Zajíček (Musica Aeterna Bratislava), Leipziger Concert Ensemble, Tragicomedia, etc. He is a member of Trio Veracini (withLars Ulrik Mortensen and Jaap ter Linden). His other chamber music partner have included harpsichordists Davitt Moroney and John Toll, flautists Marion Verbruggen and Peter Zajíček, cellist Sebastian Comberti, gambist Mary Springfels, bassoonist Dennis L. Godburn, oboist Paul Goodwin, lutenist Nigel North, etc.
In 1975, John Holloway founded his own Baroque ensemble, L’Ecole d’Orphée. From 2003 to 2005, he was Musical Director of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra and from 2005 to 2006 he was the concertmaster and Music Director of a period instrument ensemble and orchestra, New Trinity Baroque. In 2005 he founded jointly with the Belgian conductor and harpsichordist Florian Heyerick and a music agent, the Mannheimer Hofkapelle, which in the summer of 2007 could be heard for the first time in 300 years with its original composition of 40 musicians.
John Holloway has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and in the Early Music Institute of Indiana University in Bloomington. He is much in demand as a musicologist and lecturer, and has given classes and led workshops in most European countries, as well as in Korea, New Zealand and the USA. In 2004 he was Regents’ Lecturer at UC Berkeley. In 1999 he received a teaching position at the Hochschule für Musik "Carl Maria von Weber" in Dresden. Since 2006 he has been Artistic Director of the international violin competition and master-class Violin in Dresden. Among his many pupils: Pablo Valetti, Marie Verweyen, etc.
John Holloway has appeared on more than 100 CD recordings. His growing chamber music and solo discography has ranged from Castello and Fontana to A. Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann and beyond. His recording of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas won a Gramophone Award in 1991, and remains the reference recording of this music. He won two Danish Grammy Awards for his recordings of the chamber music and vocal music of Dietrich Buxtehude (1994 and 1997). His CD recordings of the Rosary Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Biber and of Sonatas Op. 5 of Jean-Marie Leclair won the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik ("German Record Critics' Award"). Since 1997 he has made a number of acclaimed recordings for ECM New Series, including the Sonatas and Partitas for Violin solo by J.S. Bach. In addition to recordings of The Four Seasons and L'estro Armonico by A. Vivaldi, he recorded with his ensemble L'Ecole d'Orphée the complete chamber works of George Frideric Handel, the first complete recording on historical instruments of G.F. Handel’s instrumental chamber music.
John Holloway is currently based in Dresden, Germany.