Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115
Schubert: Octet in F, D803
EMMA JOHNSON is one of the few clarinettists to have established an international career as a soloist. Emma has performed across Europe, the USA and the Far East, as well as in Africa and Australia in venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw, the Louvre and the Barbican. In Britain she has achieved particular popularity – her two recent discs on the Universal label, “Voyage” and “The Mozart Album”, spent many weeks at the top of the Classical Charts.
Emma grew up in London and began to study the clarinet at the age of nine. In 1984 she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and was a medal winner in the Eurovision Young Musician televised throughout Europe. Later she was to be a winner of the Young Concert Artist Auditions in New York. These competitions launched Emma’s musical career whilst she was still at school, but she decided to study Music and English at Cambridge University before embarking full-time on musical life.
One of the chief inspirations for Emma’s music-making is listening to great singers. When she plays the clarinet she tries to emulate the expressive power of the human voice. Her goal has been to get better acceptance for the clarinet as a solo classical instrument, and she is known for drawing upon a wide range of musical expression in her concerts. The Daily Telegraph wrote in May 2008 “To make a successful career as a solo clarinettist is especially hard, but Emma Johnson has managed it”.
Emma Johnson has appeared as soloist with many leading orchestras including the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Hallé, Tokyo Philharmonic, Salzburg Camerata and Netherlands Philharmonic in repertoire which includes over 40 different concertos. A new development in Emma’s career has seen her being invited not only to direct from the clarinet, but also to conduct orchestras such as the London Mozart Players and the Royal Philharmonic.