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Louise Johnson

ALCM (Teach) Principal Harp Sydney Symphony, Harp Teacher Sydney Conservatorium

Examiner Number: 918

Louise Johnson began her harp studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School and later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Salzedo Summer Harp School in the United States with Alice Chalifoux.

At 18, she was appointed Principal Harp of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra for a year before continuing her freelance career overseas. She lived in London between 1983 and 1985, performing with the London Symphony Orchestra as Guest Principal Harp and Second Harp under the batons of Claudio Abbado and Richard Hickox. She gave recitals in Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room.

Louise Johnson has performed with all the major Australian symphony, opera and ballet orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Ensemble. She has performed with artists such as Cher, Sammy Davis Jnr and the Bee Gees, and toured Australia with companies such as the Bolshoi and Sadler’s Wells ballets. She played for the Bolshoi Opera and with Luciano Berio, in a concert of his own works.

Having given her first performance with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14, Louise later joined the orchestra as a permanent member, was appointed Principal Harp in 1985 and regularly appears as a soloist.

In 1990 she performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with James Galway and, in 2006, performed Spohr’s Concertante for Violin and Harp with Michael Dauth. In 1996 she performed the Ginastera Harp Concerto in Seattle for the World Harp Congress.

Louise Johnson has taught harp at the Sydney Conservatorium for 26 years and is in great demand as a harp mentor and tutor.

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