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Lura Johnson | Piano

Lura Johnson | Piano

Lura Johnson | Piano

Steinway Artist Lura Johnson is celebrated by critics and audiences for her insightful, emotionally impactful performances. The Washington Post describes hearing her play as "one of life's great pleasures." The Baltimore Sun praises her "surging expressive force...impressive bravura..." and "exceptional vitality, color, and impact." Performing more than 100 concerts annually as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral pianist, Johnson captures, distills, and powerfully communicates the spirit and personality of the music she performs. She describes her mission as "to vividly and thoroughly bring to life the essence and true character of the music, the way an actor embodies a role with full commitment." Johnson is Principal Pianist of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and regular guest pianist for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), positions which synthesize her finely honed ensemble skills, soloistic virtuosity, and versatility. She has played principal keyboard for seven albums recorded by the BSO, including Bernstein's Mass, which received a Grammy nomination in 2010. The Washington Classical Review wrote of a BSO performance of Bernstein's Age of Anxiety, "[Soloist] Jean-Yves Thibaudet was shadowed brilliantly by the BSO's outstanding keyboard player, Lura Johnson, on the daunting celesta part." This collaboration was immortalized in a 2017 album released by the BSO on the Naxos label and was also part of the BSO's tour of the U.K. in 2018, with performances and telecasts at the renowned BBC Proms and the prestigious Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Johnson has been featured as a soloist with the Baltimore and Delaware symphony orchestras, performing Rachmaninoff's First Piano Concerto, Grieg Concerto, Mozart's K. 466, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. She is one of few with the versatility to perform the complete Bach Brandenburg Concerti, moving seamlessly from the continuo harpsichord role in Concertos No. 1 through 4 and No. 6, and assuming the solo role in the magnificent Concerto No. 5. Similarly, in the BSO's recent production of Amadeus, Johnson navigated the solo role in several Mozart Concerti, as well as performing the supporting role of organ continuo, eliciting the praise "meticulous and brilliant" from the Montgomery County Sentinel. Johnson comes from a musical family and town. Born and raised in Oberlin, OH, home of the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory of Music, her first piano lessons were with her father, a fine amateur pianist who was a professor of East Asian studies at Oberlin College. Later mentors include Jeanne Kierman Fischer and Brian Connelly. Johnson holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Rice University and did post-graduate work with Robert McDonald and Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute.


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