0 Sharon Johnson

Sharon Johnson

Associate Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Collaborative Piano

Pianist Sharon Johnson has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio and WFMT Radio in Chicago;with the Greensboro Symphony and the Greensboro Philharmonia; in guest artist recitals at the North Carolina Museum of Art and Dickinson State University; First Friday series in Wooster, Ohio; the Baltimore Composers Forum in Maryland; and at the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series. She is actively involved in the premieres of new works on a regular basis: in fall 2003, she gave the Minnesota premiere of Ned Rorem’s chamber work, Aftermath. Along with baritone, David Klassen, she initiated a new concert series for young artists in Steinbach, Manitoba.

Dr. Johnson gave the world premiere of Juliana Hall’s Peacock Pie (for solo piano) as well as Hall’s Songs of Enchantment (with soprano, Carrie Shaw) at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis. She has performed in recital with Immanuel Davis, Jean del Santo, and Clifton Ware. Johnson served as invited pianist for the master classes of Keith Underwood at the University of Minnesota, and Eugene Rousseau at Shell Lake, Wisconsin. In addition she has served as one of the official accompanists for the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference and the International Double Reed Society Conference (including the world premiere of Richard Faith’s Trio for Bassoon, Oboe, and Piano). As primary keyboard/assistant director of the Continental Singers she has toured the United States, Asia, and Europe. Her performances in master classes and coachings include Nathaniel Rosen, Alexa Still, Emmanuel Pahud, Sherrill Milnes, Håkan Håkagaard, Martin Isepp, Martin Amlin, Ken Griffiths, Anne Epperson, Jean Barr, Zvi Zeitlin and Pierre Vallet. She has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio as pianist for the Ted Mann Vocal Quartet.

Education

  • B.M. Piano Performance | UNC Greensboro School of Music
  • M.M. Piano Performance | UNC Greensboro School of Music
  • D.M.A. Collaborative Piano | University of Minnesota

Collaborative piano and piano are truly my passions in life; moreover, I feel that God has called me to use the gifts that He has given me–both as a performer and a teacher–to inspire and educate others. The Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College has what I believe to be the very best combination: colleagues and students who love God and love music, and strive to give their very best for His glory.

In addition to recital collaborations with colleagues, Johnson is one half of the duo piano team, Music By Two, with pianist Nancy Davis. Their repertoire includes compositions that range in style from romantic to 20th century to sacred. Since the spring of 2005, Music By Twohas given multiple premieres of Eric Ewazen’s Sonata for Two pianos. During 2007, the duo gave the North Carolina premiere of an unpublished work by Lowell Liebermann (Three Lullabies, Op. 76); as well, a re-discovered four-hand piano work by Louise Talma was premiered in a concert at The Library of Congress, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the MacDowell Colony. Music By Two has recently contracted with Scott Management Agency for artist management (www.scottmanagementagency.net); their first CD project is planned in the near future. Johnson has also formed a partnership with saxophonist Chisato Eda Marling. They perform together as Duo du Soleil.

Educated at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Johnson received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance. She completed her DMA in collaborative piano with Margo Garrett and Tim Lovelace at the University of Minnesota (where she was a teaching assistant and Denny Scholar). Her dissertation examines text choice and setting in selected songs of Judith Zaimont, Libby Larsen, and Juliana Hall. Johnson has held faculty positions at Greensboro College as coach/accompanist for the opera workshop productions; The Music Center of Greensboro, as a private instructor; director/instructor at the Wesleyan Institute of Music and Arts; as faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Summer Piano Camp; and is a charter faculty member of the Vivace String Camp (piano/collaborative faculty).

Honors and Awards

  • Fall Island Repertoire Development Program (one of four applicants chosen from across the United States)
  • Finalist in The American Prize Competition (Professional Chamber Ensemble Division “Music By Two” with Nancy Davis, piano)
  • Official Pianist for the International Horn Prize Competition
  • Faculty Development Grant for “American Landscapes” CD “Music By Two” with Nancy Davis, piano; World premiere recordings of works by American composers
  • Faculty Development Grant for Women’s History Month concerts with “Music By Two” with Nancy Davis, piano, at the Library of Congress and the University of Maryland
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (2005-2006)
  • Official Pianist for International Double Reed Society Conference and the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference
  • Invited pianist for the masterclasses of Keith Underwood (flute) at the University of Minnesota
  • Invited pianist for Shell Lake, Wisconsin masterclasses of Eugene Rousseau (saxophone)

Courses Taught

Undergraduate

  • Applied piano lessons
  • Piano proficiency lessons
  • Collaborative Performance Practicum
  • Vocal Literature

Graduate

  • Applied collaborative piano lessons;
  • Collaborative Performance Practicum;
  • Vocal Literature

Recordings

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