American pianist John Browning was born in Denver on 23 May 1933 into a musical family. He began piano studies with his mother, aged only three, made his début at the age of ten with the Denver Symphony Orchestra in Mozart's Coronation Concerto, studied at the Juilliard School with Rosina Lhévinne and won a silver medal in the 1956 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
Samuel Barber wrote his Piano Concerto specifically for Browning, who gave the work its first performance in 1962. Browning's first Grammy Award in 1991 was for a performance of this concerto with his friend Leonard Slatkin and the St Louis Symphony. His recordings of other Barber works attracted a second Grammy in 1993. Browning was also known for his performances of J S Bach and Scarlatti.
John Browning died from heart failure in Sister Bay, Wisconsin on 26 January 2003, aged sixty-nine.