On the Couch with John Foreman

Arts Review On the Couch John ForemanWho is John Foreman?
I’m a musician.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I sometimes like to play the “what would you do if you won the lottery” game. It’s a good test to see what you’d change if money were no object. The good news is that I think I’d probably still do 99% of what I’m doing now!

Who inspires you and why?
I grew up watching the likes of Tommy Tycho and Marvin Hamlisch, both of whom were able to take a beautiful, big orchestra and create popular music that people loved.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe that music can make a tangible difference in the world. Music can bring people together and can shine a light on our common humanity.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
While the buzz and bustle of New York is hard to beat, if you’re in true holiday mode, try a fancy resort somewhere like Koh Samui in Thailand.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
If I had friends in town, I’d be inviting them to the Australian Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve performance at Hamer Hall – it’s a fantastic orchestra in a brilliant Melbourne location. If they happened not to be here on December 31, I’d take them up to the bar at level 35 at the Sofitel on Collins St. The views are brilliant!

What are you currently reading?
Right now? I’m reading the rehearsal schedule for Carols by Candlelight and the repertoire list for the Australian Philharmonic’s NYE concerts… sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to sit down with a good book. The last book I read cover-to-cover was actually an ebook, called Dog Training For Dummies.

What are you currently listening to?
I listen to music as I learn it. So right now I’ve a head full of Christmas Carols and popular orchestral works! By January I’ll be listening to Australian pop and rock music in the lead-up to Australia Day.

Happiness is?
A dog walk on a 21 degree day.

What does the future hold for you?
Not know what’s around the corner is a big part of the fun! If I can continue making music, I’m happy.

John Foreman OAM joined Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton in 1992. John tickled Bert’s GMA ivories for more than 12 years. John became Musical Director of Australian Idol in 2003; he produced many recordings for Idol artists, including Anthony Callea’s multi-platinum single, The Prayer. John has produced recordings for Marcia Hines, Ricki-Lee, Silvie Paladino, and others.

John is musical director for Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight and the TV Week Logie Awards, hosts the annual Schools Spectacular and in 2011 was musical director for the Oprah Winfrey Show Australian finalé. He was musical director for The Production Company’s Singin’ In The Rain, The Boy From Oz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hello, Dolly!, Sweet Charity and the company’s first production of Anything Goes.

John wrote The Flame, which was performed by Tina Arena at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremony, and Light The Way for the Asian Games in Doha, performed by Jose Carreras. He performed at the 1995 Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada) and the 1998 and 1999 Santa Barbara International Jazz Festivals (USA).

John is ambassador for Music: Count Us In for the Australian Music Council, is on the Board of the Talent Development Project Foundation, and this year was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the performing arts.

John will be conducting the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2015 New Year’s Eve Concert Series at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on 31 December 2015. For more information, visit: www.apoconcerts.com.au for details.

Image: John Foreman (supplied)