John Ma (Baroque Violin, Viola, d'amore)

Photo Credit: Martin Ollman

John Ma



Viola d'amore

The Musician

John Ma is a Violinist/Violist and Viola d’amore player specialising in Early Music. He has performed in various roles with groups around the world including Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (NL), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (UK), Academia Montis Regalis (IT), Bach Collegium Japan (JP), Musica Poetica (NL), Apollo Ensemble (NL), Fantasticus (NL), New Collegium (NL), Collegium 1704 (CZ), Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (FIN), B'Rock (BG), and the Trondheim Baroque Orchestra (NOR).

In Australia, John appears regularly with groups such as Pinchgut Opera, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble, Australian Bach Akademie, Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, , Salut!Baroque, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Australis. He is also on staff at the Australian National University (ANU), teaching the Early Music Ensemble, and is a co-founder of Apeiron Baroque in the ACT. 

As a teacher and ensemble leader, he is keen to seek a balance between technique and exploration. A robust technique is meaningless if it does not form the basis for a playful exploration and communication with colleagues and audience

The Person

John is an avid gamer, comic book reader, and tech-nerd. He retains an interest in scientific and mathematical developments and tries to stay up to date with the latest news and advances related to his previous studies. He is now based in Canberra where he has decades of learning the finer points of gardening and vegetable growing ahead of him.


"Ma’s expressive abilities on the violin are matchless"

"Watching him playing his instrument and leading the orchestra is to see a man who obviously loves what he does..."

"Ma exudes infectious enthusiasm and joy for what he does..."

"...plays like the stars of heaven"

"devestatingly capable..."