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Award-winning violinist Mary Grace Johnson has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and North America and is the newly-appointed concertmaster of the West Virginia Symphony. She has been a prize winner and finalist at numerous competitions including the Bartok World String Quartet Competition in Budapest, Hungary and MTNA’s National Young Artist Competition and has been featured on NPR's Performance Today. A firm believer in advocacy through music, Johnson aims to center underrepresented voices, especially women, in her recital programming. 


Johnson is a co-leader and program curator for Kinetic Ensemble, Houston's premiere conductorless string orchestra. Her recordings with Kinetic have been released to critical acclaim on Orchid Classics and Bright Shiny Things. A founding member of the prize-winning Aurelius and Unison String Quartets, she has performed with some of the world's leading chamber musicians, including Steven Doane, Sarah Rothenberg, Lesley Hatfield, Scott Yoo and Sharan Leventhal, and has studied chamber music with the American, Blair, Escher, Juilliard, and Pacifica quartets. She has appeared as soloist with several orchestras including the Nashville Symphony and the Vanderbilt University Orchestra, and was recently selected to perform for the Duke of Kent in Cornwall, U.K. as part of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove.


A strong advocate for new music, Johnson has premiered works by over a dozen composers including Anthony Brandt, Amy Nam, Theo Chandler, and Nicky Sohn. In 2023, she co-commissioned and premiered Sohn’s violin concerto, “Home,” with Kinetic Ensemble. The work was composed in collaboration with the Women's Home, a rehabilitation facility in Houston dedicated to assisting women in overcoming addiction and homelessness and presented on a program celebrating female expression. The project garnered extensive media coverage, including features in television, radio, and magazines, and resulted in a sold-out premiere performance.


A devoted educator, Johnson is the Assistant Professor of Violin at West Virginia University. She previously taught at Lone Star College-University Park and has worked with the chamber music programs at Rice University, Vanderbilt Blair Pre-College, and the Juilliard School. During the summers she has taught at the Kneisel Hall Maine Students Program, AFA Summer Music Festival, and Interlochen Arts Camp. A proud Suzuki instructor, she received her Suzuki Training at Vanderbilt University with Carol Smith.


Johnson completed her studies at Vanderbilt University, the Juilliard School, and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Her major instructors include Paul Kantor, Cornelia Heard, Christian Teal, and Laurie Smukler. In addition to the violin, she studied viola with Kathryn Plummer and baroque violin with Allison Nyquist. When not performing, she enjoys camping, backpacking, and experimenting with new recipes with her husband, clarinetist Keeheon Nam.




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