Joseph Johnson

Principal Cello

Joseph Johnson

Principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2009, Joseph Johnson previously held the same position with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as principal cellist of the Santa Fe Opera, and during the 2008/09 season, was acting principal cellist of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his Milwaukee appointment, Joseph Johnson was a member of the Minnesota Orchestra cello section for 11 years, during which time he performed numerous chamber music works during the orchestra's Sommerfest, both as cellist and pianist. He was a founding member of both the Prospect Park Players and the Minneapolis Quartet, the latter of which was honoured with The McKnight Foundation Award in 2005.

Mr. Johnson has been heard throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. His festival appearances include performances in all classical genres at the American festivals of Santa Fe, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Bard, Cactus Pear, Grand Teton, and Music in the Vineyards as well as the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Virtuosi Festival in Brazil. Recent highlights include concerto performances of Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo Variations” with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Dvořák Concerto at the Lakes Area Festival, Elgar Concerto with the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bernstein’s Three Meditations with the Lexington Philharmonic.

A gifted and inspiring teacher, Mr. Johnson is Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Toronto, as well as the cello coach for the Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted numerous masterclasses for a wide range of institutions and ensembles.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Joseph Johnson earned his master’s degree from Northwestern University. Awards and honours include a performer's certificate from the Eastman School of Music and first prize from the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition.

Mr. Johnson performs on a magnificent Paolo Castello cello crafted in Genoa in 1780. He uses Jarger Superior brand strings exclusively.

Current as of April 2018

Give to the TSO

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a charitable organization that relies on the support of its vibrant community to deliver outstanding programming and music education.

Donate Today
maple leaf

Canada Mosaic

Celebrate Canada's diverse musical landscape in this Signature Project of Canada 150.

Mosaïque canadienne

Célébrez la diversité musicale canadienne dans le cadre d’un projet Signature de Canada 150.

Email Club

Get insider access to Toronto Symphony Orchestra news, ticket offers, community programs, and more.

Sign up
Live Chat Button