John Mark Ainsley has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including the London, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony orchestras and the London, Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic orchestras, with Davis, Haitink, Mackerras, Charles Dutoit, Masur, Norrington, Rattle and Abbado.
His discography covers the baroque and classical repertoire, the German Lied and English song and the American musical. His Britten recordings include the three tenor cycles Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, Les illuminations and Nocturne.
2010 saw his first Captain Vere in the UK in Michael Grandage’s production of Billy Budd for the Glyndebourne Festival. He sang Skuratov in Janacek’s From the House of the Dead directed by Chereau and conducted by Boulez at the Amsterdam, Vienna and Aix-en-Provence Festivals and subsequently in his house debut at La Scala, Milan/ Salonen. He was awarded the Munich Festival Prize for his performance as Orfeo. He created the role of Der Daemon in the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze's L'Upupa for the Salzburg Festival and also sang the world premiere of Henze's Phaedra in Berlin and Brussels.
John Mark won the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award and is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
In 2016 John Mark was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Fortunately this was an early diagnosis and with ongoing treatment the prognosis for his general health is very good. However, he has decided that it is time to retire from public performance. It is still very much his intention to remain involved with singing and performing through teaching, adjudication and master classes.