Violinist Mary Grace Johnson has performed internationally at venues from Lincoln Center to London’s Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. She made her symphony debut at age 17 with the Nashville Symphony as Grand Prize winner of the CURB Records concerto competition, and has also soloed with the Vanderbilt Symphony Orchestra and the Curb Youth Symphony. In 2017, she won first prize at the national level of the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist String competition in Baltimore, Maryland after winning the division and state competitions. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she received her Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Laurie Smukler.
A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Johnson was a founding member of the Aurelius String Quartet, the 2016 fellowship quartet in residence at the Wintergreen Chamber Music Festival. As part of their fellowship, the quartet toured Virginia and presented a full program to diverse audiences across the state. Invited to the quarterfinals of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, they received 2nd prize at the 2016 National MTNA Chamber Music Competition in San Antonio, Texas. She has received chamber music instruction from members of the American, Blair, and Pacifica quartets, as well as past and present members of the Juilliard String Quartet, and attended the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival for two years. In 2018, she co-founded the Unison String Quartet, a group dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music and recent participants in Juilliard String Quartet Seminar.
Dedicated to music education and outreach, Ms. Johnson served on the faculty at the W.O. Smith Community Music School in Nashville, and was a Juilliard Morse Fellow, teaching the Singing Strings program at the City College Academy of the Arts as part of her fellowship. As a DACAMERA Young Artist, she frequently performs and teaches in Houston schools, museums and hospitals. A fervid orchestral musician, Ms. Johnson has served as concertmaster of the Vanderbilt University Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra under esteemed conductors Sir Mark Elder and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and as principal second of the Rice University Chamber Orchestra under Larry Rachleff.
Ms. Johnson received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, where she was awarded the Founder’s Medal for the Blair School of Music, the highest honor in her graduating class. She has had the honor of playing in masterclasses for several leading musicians including Glenn Dicterow, Augustin Hadelich, Ani Kavafian, Robert McDuffie, and Almita and Roland Vamos. In addition to the violin, she has studied the viola and baroque violin. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Paul Kantor at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
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