Principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Joseph Johnson will take up the role of associate professor of cello in autumn 2024


Joseph Johnson © Martin Chalifour

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The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, has announced the appointment of Joseph Johnson as associate professor of cello. Johnson, an alumnus of the school, will take up the role in autumn 2024.

’[I am] thrilled to be joining the faculty of the Eastman School of Music,’ said Johnson. ’This is a full-circle moment for me. As an alum of Eastman, this school holds a special place in my heart, and I am honoured to be returning “home” to where my career started.’

As an educator, Johnson is currently assistant professor of cello at the University of Toronto, the cello coach for the Toronto Youth Symphony, and regular coach and teacher at the New World Symphony in Miami.  He has conducted numerous masterclasses for a wide range of institutions and ensembles, including The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, the youth orchestras of the Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, Madison, and Toronto symphonies, as well as The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. 

Johnson has been principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2009, following positions in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. He also serves as principal cellist of the Santa Fe Opera and has performed as a guest principal with numerous orchestras such as the Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony and San Francisco Symphony.

He was a founding member of both the Prospect Park Players and the Minneapolis Quartet, the latter of which received the McKnight Foundation Award in 2005.

Johnson is a graduate of Northwestern University in addition to his studies at the Eastman School of Music. He received a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music and first prize from the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition.

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