John Link has composed for diverse media including orchestra, chamber and jazz ensembles, rock bands, and electroacoustic instruments. He has received commissions from percussionist Payton MacDonald, guitarist Daniel Lippel, cellist Caroline Stinson, the Athabasca String Trio, the New Jersey Arts Collective (for pianist Anthony de Mare), Flexible Music, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, the Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music (for the Ames Piano Quartet), The High Mountain Symphony, and the Composers Guild of New Jersey. He has been a guest composer at the New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University, and has received awards from the Centre Acanthes, ASCAP, and Meet the Composer. His composition Shadow Traffic was hailed by the New York Times as "an extended rhapsody, often lyrical in its horizontal movement but hard-bitten in mood and color." The American Record Guide noted "John Link's duo For Irving Lippel has some captivating, restrained moments where the resonances of guitar and vibraphone are allowed to shimmer and blur in an exquisite way. The whole forms a pleasing arc of textural and timbral density." About his Piano Concerto, the Newark Star-Ledger wrote "Link's modernist atonal language reveled in the contrasts he could pull from his different instruments, both individually and collectively." His music is recorded on the New Focus Recordings, Bridge Records, and 60x60 labels.
An internationally known scholar of the music of Elliott Carter, Link is the author of Elliott Carter: A Guide to Research (Garland, 2000), co-editor with Nicholas Hopkins of Elliott Carter's Harmony Book (Carl Fischer, 2002), co-editor with Marguerite Boland of Elliott Carter Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and is currently working on a book about Carter's late music. He has received fellowships from the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, for his work on Carter's sketches, and his writings on music have appeared in journals in the United States, Italy, and the U.K. including Tempo, Sonus, the Journal of the Society for American Music, The Chicago Review, and Music and Letters. He has participated in panels, courses, and lectures on Carter's music at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the 13th Festival Slowind in Ljubljana, and was a member of the jury to select the clarinet soloist for a performance of Carter's Clarinet Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez. He was the first Visiting Scholar at the Mannes School of Music at The New School University, and has given lectures and workshops on Carter's music at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, Brigham Young University, the University of Minnesota, Cardiff University, the University of Ljubljana, the Juilliard School of Music, and at Carnegie Hall.
John Link received a Ph.D. in music from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a Master's degree from The Ohio State University, and B.M. and B.A. degrees from the University of Nebraska. He studied composition with David Olan, Thomas Wells, and Randall Snyder. He is a Professor in the Music Department at William Paterson University.