John Ernest Stiller (1945–2003)
John Ernest Stiller was born in the small mid-north South Australian town of Blyth in 1945, the son of a Lutheran Pastor. He began his musical life studying the piano as a child and was quickly 'taken' by the organ after an instrument was installed at his father's church at Loxton, South Australia.
After the family transferred to Murray Bridge he studied the organ under the late James Govenlock (the then director of music at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Adelaide). On completion of a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Adelaide he became a secondary school teacher serving briefly at Moonta High School. He returned to study and completed an Honours Degree in Music, majoring in organ performance.
In 1975 he travelled to Hannover in Germany, spending two years studying organ and church music with organist Ulrich Bremsteller.
Upon his return to Australia he was employed by the newly formed Organ Historical Trust of Australia as Research Officer. From 1978 to 1985 John travelled throughout Australia and New Zealand documenting over 300 historic organs.
In 1986 he was appointed as director of music at St Petri Lutheran Church in Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley, South Australia. He gave many recitals and performed for the Barossa Music Festival in 1990 and 1994.
John Stiller died in 2003.