John Dilworth started his career in violinmaking as an apprentice to the Breton harp-maker Gildas Jaffrenou, before pursuing a more formal education at Newark Violin Making School, then under the direction of its founder and director Maurice Bouette.
After graduating from the school in 1979, he began working at J&A Beare in London, where he stayed for thirteen years. Under Charles Beare's supervision, he perfected his art of restoration, adjustment and instrument recognition, happily surrounded by some of the profession's best craftspeople and experts, not to mention the greatest instruments imaginable.
In 1991, he established his own workshop in Twickenham. In 1994, he worked closely with Peter Biddulph in the staging of the Exhibition 'The masterpieces of Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù' at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Over the last twenty years, he has lectured at many international violin conferences and has been invited to act as a craftsmanship judge at violin making competitions in England, America, and Poland. He has taught both violin making and restoration at workshops in West Dean in the U.K., and in Oberlin, Ohio.
He regularly consults with Ingles & Hayday, Bromptons, and Amati, and has been the technical editor of 'The Strad' magazine for many years, with the aim of spreading the information about the violin and its makers. This has led to several publications on the violin, its history, and the famous makers.