John Linton Gardner, CBE (born 2 March 1917) is an English composer of classical music.
Gardner was born in Manchester, England and brought up in Ilfracombe, North Devon. His father Alfred Linton Gardner was a local GP and amateur composer who was killed in action in the last months of the First World War. His grandfather was John Twiname Gardner, also a G.P. and composer. His mother, Emily Muriel Pullein-Thompson, was the sister of Captain Harold J "Cappy" Pullein-Thompson, who was the father of the Pullein-Thompson sisters and their brother, the playwright Denis Cannan.
Gardner was educated at Eagle House, Wellington College and Exeter College, Oxford. An important figure in his early life was Hubert J. Foss of Oxford University Press, who published the Intermezzo for Organ in 1936 and introduced him to the composer Arthur Benjamin to whom Gardner dedicated his Rhapsody for Oboe and String Quartet (1935).This work had its first performance at the Wigmore Hall in February 1936. The String Quartet No.1(1938) was broadcast from Paris by the Blech Quartet in 1939, and the anthem The Holy Son of God most High (1938) was also published by OUP. At Oxford Gardner was friendly with Theodor Adorno with whom he played piano duets.