Brian started piano lessons at the grand old age of 16. Initially studying under music teacher Anne McQuat he eventually studied with local piano teacher and music guru David Murray. David encouraged Brian to investigate many styles and directions so, rather than concentrating on a classical only repertoire, they agreed that Brian would cover a wide range of musical styles for piano.
Being an Emerson, Lake and Palmer fan since the age of 10 it seemed a natural thing for him to explore all areas of music and piano/keyboard playing. Keith Emerson was a keen learner of all styles of music including, jazz, rock, boogie, classical etc and Brian decided to do likewise.
While playing a few ‘local’ bands Brian did some solo demos which caught the attention of record label Centaur Discs who were developing a specialism in progressive, symphonic rock.
This resulted in the release of Brian’s first solo project The Balance of Risk (CENCD011) – released under the title ‘Brian Johnstone’s Aurora Project in 1996. Since then Brian has worked on and continues to develop collaborations with several people including Ralf Seidel (Zdiar) and Kevin Kennie (Scarlet Inside) while continuing to release solo material.
Given the wide ranging stylistic approaches of Brians music it is no surprise that his other work has included collaborations and commissions for other work such as tuition, musical directorships, multimedia projects and arranging/production jobs.