Emma Johnson is one of the few clarinettists to have established a career as a solo performer. Emma grew up in London and her career was launched when at the age of 17 she won BBC Young Musician of the Year followed by the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. She studied Music and English at Pembroke College, Cambridge before embarking on music full time and since then she has performed all over the world.
Emma Johnson is also a composer; books of her arrangements and compositions have been published by Chesters and Fabers. Songs of Celebration, Johnson's composition for clarinet and choir, has recently been performed in Dublin, London and Tokyo and she has written a clarinet concerto Tree of Life. A series of new solo clarinet pieces has been published by Queen's Temple Publishing.
Emma has given masterclasses throughout the world and was a professor at the Royal College of Music, London. She also devised a project with composer Jonathan Dove involving UK school children recreating the story of The Pied Piper. Emma has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras in repertoire which includes all the major clarinet works as well as pieces written especially for her by Sir John Dankworth, Will Todd, Patrick Hawes, Matthew Taylor and Sir Michael Berkeley amongst others.
Emma was the first woman to be made an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge and in 2017 the college commissioned a portrait of her. She enjoys running and has run half marathons to raise funds for Unicef. She is a patron of ClicSargent, and Ronald Mcdonald House Charities. She was honoured by the Queen with an M.B.E. in 1996. Emma plays an instrument made by the English clarinet maker, Peter Eaton.
Biography taken from composer’s website.
Photo: Frances Marshall