Louise Johnson - Sunday 8 September @ 2pm Sutherland Arts Centre to book
Louise Johnson, ALCM, WWCC, is celebrated as one of Australia's leading harpists and teachers. She began her harp studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School with June Loney at age 12. Following her debut performance with the Sydney Symphony at age 14 she began a successful professional freelance career which spanned all genres of music from classical to jazz, often being found in famous recording studios across Australia and the globe, including Abbey Road, recording for films, radio and television.
After receiving an Australia Council Study Grant, she later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Salzedo Summer Harp School in the United States with the world renowned harpist and teacher, Alice Chalifoux.
At 18, she was appointed Principal Harp of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for one year before continuing a freelance career overseas. Whilst living in London between 1983 and 1985, she performed regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra as Guest Principal Harp and Second Harp under the baton of such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado and Richard Hickox. She also gave recitals in Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room.
Louise Johnson has performed with all the major Australian Symphony and Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Ensemble. She has also performed with legendary artists such as Cher, Sammy Davis Jnr, and the Bee Gees to name but a few, and has toured Australia with the Bolshoi and Sadler’s Wells Ballet Companies, accompanying the greats, Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn.
Having given her first performance with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14, she later won the position of Principal Harp in 1985, a position she held until leaving in 2019 to focus on solo work, jazz and teaching. She has worked under all of the major conductors since 1970, from Dean Dixon to David Robertson, performing with SSO for over 50 years. She regularly appeared as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1990 she performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with James Galway and in 2006 performed Spohr’s Concertante for Violin and Harp with Michael Dauth. In 1996 she performed the Ginastera Harp Concerto in Seattle for the World Harp Congress and played again for the WHC in 2014 giving the world premiere of Lee Bracegirdle's Legend of the Old Castle, under the baton of Simone Young. In 2020 she recorded and performed Debussy's Dances Sacrée et Profane. She will continue to perform with SSO in their 2023 season.
Louise Johnson has taught harp at the Sydney Conservatorium for over 35 years. She also teaches at the Australian National University and her private studio in Cremorne. She teaches all genres of music, classical, jazz, improvising and, as an accredited AMEB examiner, can prepare both students and professionals for exams, HSC, orchestral audtitions etc. She is in great demand as a tutor and mentor and has taught regularly at the Australian National Music Camp, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Harp Holiday.
Louise understands the importance of working with children and has undertaken a Working with Children Check and has Child Protection and Appropriate Behaviour Certification.
Louise is the Director and Founder of Harp Holiday, the Musical Director of Roseville Music Club and Patron of the Harp Society of NSW.
She is proud to have set up Sydney Harp School with her former students Natalie Wong, Julie Kim and Solveig Hu, as a way to bring together Sydney students and teachers and to make available more performance and learning opportunities for the harp community throughout NSW.