John Petersen studied with Palmer Trauelsen in Copenhagen and has been a soloist in the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra since 1957. He has also been a member of the Philharmonia Brass Ensemble. In addition to his numerous appearances as a soloist with the Stockholm Philharmonic he has made several recordings. Among the composers who have been inspired to write works for John Petersen are Leif Thybo and the Swedes Gunnar Hahn, Torsten Nilsson, and Lars-Erik Rosell. Rosell's concerto for trombone and organ is dedicated to John Petersen, who gave the first performance of it in 1979 together with Erik Lundkvist.