Guy Johnston

Guy Johnston

Professor of Cello

Department:

Biography

One of the most exciting and versatile British cellists of his generation, Johnston was born into a musical family and joined his brothers in the world-renowned choir of King’s College, Cambridge, where he recorded the famous carol, “Once in Royal David’s City” under Stephen Cleobury. He went on to achieve important early successes through the BBC Young Musician of the Year title, the GuilheminaSuggia Gift, the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award, and receiving a Classical Brit Award at the Royal Albert Hall. His mentors have included Steven Doane, Ralph Kirshbaum, Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Isserlis and David Waterman.

He has made many important debuts including  the First Night of the BBC Proms playing the Elgar  Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the Brahms Double Concerto in the Philharmonie with the DSO Berlin under Juraj Valchua, Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the St. Petersburg State Capella Orchestraunder Dmitriev in St. Petersburg, the Elgar Concerto with the Osaka Philharmonic under Tadaaki Otaka in Tokyo, and the Schumann Concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra under Tilbrook. Among past highlights with leading orchestras in the UK are Strauss’s Don Quixote with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain under Yan Pascal Tortelier, the Walton Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic under Tortelier, the Dvorak Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Seal, Britten’s Cello Symphony with the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Robin Ticciati, and Shostakovich Concerto No. 2 with the RTE National Orchestra under Vladimir Altschuler in Dublin.

Guy plays a 1714 David Tecchler cello, generously on loan from the Godlee-Tecchler Trust which is administered by The Royal Society of Musicians. He has recently commissioned and recorded a number of short new works to celebrate its tricentenary by composers including Charlotte Bray, David Matthews, and Mark Simpson. The CD also includes a performance with the acclaimed Accademia di Santa Cecilia recorded in Rome where the Cello was made.  Guy just returned from performing in Venice is currently recording with the BBC Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis. He will be at Eastman this week for the first round of auditions for perspective students.