Lura Johnson, pianist and Jonathan Carney, violinist
September 17, 2017 @ 3 pm
Towson Unitarian Universalist Church
Lura Johnson, pianist
Jonathan Carney, violinist
Pianist Lura Johnson is a Steinway Artist and the Second Prizewinner, as a member of Duo Baltinati with cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn, of the 2015 International Johannes Brahms Competition Chamber Music Division. Hailed as “brilliant” by the Washington Post, she is celebrated for her passionate and insightful interpretations of the standard repertoire and esteemed by colleagues for her uncommon sensitivity and skill as a collaborative partner. Equally comfortable as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician, she is the Principal Pianist of the Delaware Symphony and has performed extensively as the pianist of choice for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007. Trained by luminaries Robert McDonald and Leon Fleisher, Ms. Johnson has collaborated extensively in orchestral performances and recordings with Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Leila Josefowicz, Augustin Hadelich, Joshua Bell, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and has performed as soloist with the Baltimore and Delaware Symphonies.
Ms. Johnson’s discography includes a 2001 album, The Jennings-Johnson Duo, with flutist Christina Jennings, and 2010 Centaur Records release of Inner Voice, with BSO violist Peter Minkler, featuring sonatas by Rochberg and Shostakovich. This recording of Arvo Pärt’s spiegel im spiegel was featured in the official teaser trailer for the 2013 Warner Brothers film Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Ms. Johnson can also be heard on several recordings released by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, including Naxos’ Grammy nominated release of the Bernstein Mass, on which she played principal keyboard. Ms. Johnson’s first solo CD, Turning, was released in summer of 2014. Ms. Johnson has recorded for the Foxridge, Naxos, Innova, Centaur, Albany, and Azica labels.
Devoted to chamber music from an early age, her many recital partners include Baltimore Symphony concertmaster Jonathan Carney, with whom she has presented the complete Brahms violin sonata cycle, clarinetist Anthony McGill, cellists Ilya Finkelshteyn, Amit Peled and Kenneth Slowik, and flutist Marina Piccinini. She is a founding member of three duos, the Jennings-Johnson Duo with flutist Christina Jennings, Times Two with violinist Netanel Draiblate, and Duo Lalu, a cabaret duo with soprano Lara Bruckmann. She performs with VERGE Ensemble, 21st Century Consort, PostClassical Ensemble, and the Towson New Music Ensemble.
Ms. Johnson has taught piano at the Peabody Conservatory since 2002 and from 2013-2015 was Director of Chamber Music at Georgetown University in Washington. She has taught on the faculty of the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music.
Formerly the Artistic Director of Baltimore chamber music series Music in the Great Hall, Lura has also worked as Pianist and General Manager with the PostClassical Ensemble in Washington, DC, an innovative and wildly ambitious chamber orchestra that is reinventing and reinvigorating the presentation of classical music with programming that is thematic and cross-discliplinary.
When not onstage, Lura can be found on the dance floor. She is an avid social and competitive dancer with roots in gymnastics, ballet, and ballroom, specializing now in West Coast Swing.
Violinist Jonathan Carney is in his 16th season with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, after 12 seasons in the same position with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Born in New Jersey, Mr. Carney hails from a musical family with all six members having graduated from The Juilliard School. After completing his studies with Ivan Galamian and Christine Dethier, he was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to continue his studies in London at the Royal College of Music.
After enjoying critically acclaimed international tours as both concertmaster and soloist with numerous ensembles, Mr. Carney was invited by Vladimir Ashkenazy to become concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991. He was also appointed concertmaster of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and the Basque National Orchestra in 1996. Recent solo performances have included concertos by Bruch, Korngold, Khatchaturian, Sibelius, Nielsen, the Brahms Double Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, which was featured as a live BBC broadcast from London's Barbican Hall. He has made a number of recordings, including concertos by Mozart, Vivaldi and Nielsen, sonatas by Brahms, Beethoven and Franck, and a disc of virtuoso works of by Sarasate and Kreisler with his mother Gloria Carney as pianist. New releases include Beethoven’s Archduke and Ghost trios, the cello quintet of Schubert and a Dvorak disc with the Terzetto and four Romantic pieces for violin.
Mr. Carney is passionate about music education and currently serves as Artistic Director for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras. He is also an artist in residence at the Baltimore School for the Arts, one of the country's premier high schools and also serves on its Board of Directors.
Jonathan is presently on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center, an intensive seven-week summer music festival in the mountains of western North Carolina. As a sought after clinician he also gives master classes throughout the United States and abroad.
Mr. Carney performs on a 1687 Stradivarius, the Mercur-Avery, on which he uses "Vision" strings by Thomastik-Infeld. Mr.Carney's string sponsor is Connolly & Co., exclusive U.S. importer of Thomastik-Infeld strings.
Lura Johnson, pianist
Jonathan Carney, violinist
Sonata in D Major for Violin and Continuo, Op. 9 No. 3, "Tombeau" J.M. LeClair
Un poco andante
Sonata for Piano and Violin in G Major, No. 10, Op. 96 L.V. Beethoven
Scherzo. Allegro – Trio
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, Op. 78 J. Brahms
Vivace, ma non troppo
Allegro molto moderato