Joseph Johnson has been heard throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician and educator. His festival appearances include performances in all classical genres at the American festivals of Santa Fe, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Bard, Cactus Pear, Grand Teton, and Music in the Vineyards as well as the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Virtuosi Festival in Brazil.
Highlights of Joseph Johnson’s 2013/2014 fall/winter season include three performances of Brahms Double Concerto with the Okanagan Symphony, two performances of the Saint-Saens concerto with the Slovenia Philharmonic, and Don Quixote in Chicago with the Northwestern University Symphony. He will return to Milwaukee to perform on the Frankly Music series in January, as well as making his Toronto debut recital. Mr. Johnson recently celebrated the release of his new album with pianist Victor Asuncion featuring the Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich Sonatas. He also completed a special recording project with the G. Schirmer Instrumental Library: The Cello Collection. Published in three volumes by Hal Leonard and featuring companion recordings by Mr. Johnson, this project presents cello literature appropriate for recitals and contests, and is available online and from major music retailers worldwide.
In March 2012 Joseph Johnson performed the North American premiere of the Cello Concerto Grosso by Peter Oetvos with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a co-commission with the Berlin Philharmonic. He recently completed a six-city US tour with Victor Asuncion, performed the Barber Cello Concerto with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and performed multiple concerts in the summer of 2013 at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since the 2009/2010 season, Mr. Johnson previously held the same position with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as principal cellist of the Santa Fe Opera, and during the 2008-2009 season, was acting principal cellist of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his Milwaukee appointment, Joseph Johnson was a member of The Minnesota Orchestra cello section for eleven years, during which time he performed numerous chamber music works during the orchestra’s Sommerfest, both as cellist and pianist. He was a founding member of both the Prospect Park Players and the Minneapolis Quartet, the latter of which was honoured with The McKnight Foundation Award in 2005.
A gifted and inspiring teacher, Mr. Johnson has conducted master classes repeatedly at The New World Symphony, The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, and the youth orchestras of the Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Toronto symphonies, as well as at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Joseph Johnson earned his master’s degree from Northwestern University. Awards and honours include a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music and first prize from the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition.
Mr. Johnson performs on a magnificent Juan Guillami cello, crafted in 1747 in Barcelona.