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Graeme Steele Johnson

New York, NY

Clarinet

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His diverse artistic endeavors range from a TEDx talk comparing Mozart and Seinfeld, to his reconstruction of a forgotten 125-year-old work by Charles Martin Loeffler, to performances of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in its original form on an elongated clarinet that he commissioned. Johnson’s recent and upcoming performances include appearances at Chamber Music Northwest, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Ravinia, Phoenix Chamber Music Festival, Emerald City Music, Maverick Concerts, Music Mountain and Yellow Barn, as well as solo recitals at The Kennedy Center and Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series. He is also a regular performer at the Annapolis Chamber Music Festival, Archipelago Collective Chamber Music Festival and Caroga Lake Music Festival. As a concerto soloist, he has performed twice with the Vienna International Orchestra, as well as with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Caroga Arts Ensemble, Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra and the CME Chamber Orchestra. Since 2022 he has served as the clarinetist of the award-winning quintet WindSync, one of only two American wind quintets with a full-time, international touring schedule. WindSync is represented by MKI Artists.

Driven by his interest in shedding fresh perspective on familiar music, Johnson has authored numerous chamber arrangements of repertoire ranging from Mozart and Debussy to Gershwin and Messiaen, and performed them around the country with such artists as the Miró Quartet, Valerie Coleman and Han Lash. Other distinguished chamber music collaborators include David Shifrin, Lucy Shelton, Ani Kavafian, Anthony Marwood, Allan Vogel, William Purvis, Imani Winds, the Callisto and KASA Quartets, New York New Music Ensemble, Frisson Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble and American Modern Ensemble. Upcoming performances include collaborations with David Shifrin, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley and Timothy Cobb.

Johnson is the winner of the Hellam Young Artists’ Competition and the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition; other recent accolades include the Saint Botolph Club Foundation's Emerging Artist Award and the inaugural Lee Memorial Scholarship from the Center for Musical Excellence. He has recorded commercially for Hyperion Records, MSR Classics and Musica Solis Productions, as well as a recent recording project at Abbey Road Studios with WindSync.

Johnson's writing about music has been published by the international journal The Clarinet, as well as in program booklets by Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Northwest, Yale and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and as liner notes accompanying albums by David Shifrin, Ricardo Morales, Lloyd Van't Hoff and the Center for Musical Excellence. He holds graduate degrees from the Yale School of Music, where he was twice awarded the school's Alumni Association Prize. His major teachers include David Shifrin, Nathan Williams and Ricardo Morales, and he is now a doctoral candidate at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York under the mentorship of Charles Neidich and Kofi Agawu.

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