John Keene started learning double bass at the age of seven in a school string program simply because he was the tallest in his class. In 2015, he became the youngest player ever to be awarded the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship, and was awarded the Fellowship again in 2016. In the following year, he became an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, touring regionally with the ACO Collective as Principal Double Bass.
John studied with Alex Henery, Principal Double Bass of Sydney Symphony Orchestra, at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 2015-2018. In 2015, John won the Conservatorium’s String Concerto Competition. This resulted in his performing Bottesini’s Concerto No. 2 with the Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra. In 2016 and 2017, he was a finalist in the Great Romantics Competition held at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
Whilst studying, John started ensemble nouveau, an orchestral project bringing together students and semi-professional performers and composers, which he conducted and managed. He was also selected to be a part of the Symphony Services International Conducting Course in 2016, and as a result participated in conducting masterclasses with several Australian and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, including WASO.
In 2018, John played with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Double Bass, and later that year on contract as Tutti Double Bass with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He and his wife Brianna moved to Perth at the beginning of 2019 and have loved living here since. In his spare time, John hunts for the best coffee in Perth, and enjoys running throughout the myriad beautiful locations in Perth. John is delighted to be playing in such a vibrant and world-class orchestra as WASO.