Lura Johnson, Artistic Director
Pianist Lura Johnson, a Steinway Artist, is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most prominent and sought-after ensemble pianists. Hailed as “brilliant” by the Washington Post, Ms. Johnson 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. Trained by luminaries Leon Fleisher and Robert McDonald, she is the Principal Pianist of the Delaware Symphony and has performed regularly with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007. She has collaborated extensively in orchestral performances and recordings with Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Leila Josefowicz, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and has performed as soloist with the Baltimore and Delaware Symphonies.
Ms. Johnson is Artistic Director of Baltimore chamber music series Music in the Great Hall, a well-established Baltimore area series which presents both emerging and established artists. 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, cellist Amit Peled, and flutist Marina Piccinini. She is a founding member of two duos, the Jennings-Johnson Duo with flutist Christina Jennings, and Times Two with violinist Netanel Draiblate.
Equally at home with contemporary music, she performs with VERGE Ensemble, who are in residence at Washington’s Corcoran Gallery and have rapidly established a commanding presence in the new music community both nationally and abroad.
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. 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. Upcoming releases include Perspectives, a violin and piano recital with Netanel Draiblate on the Azica Records label, and her first solo CD.
Ms. Johnson’s current projects include a book on the unique challenges of orchestral piano playing, and a string of solo engagements nationwide to raise awareness and funds for the battle on global climate change.
Ms. Johnson serves on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory since 2001 and Georgetown University in Washington, where she teaches piano and directs the Chamber Music program.
When not onstage, Lura can be found on the dance floor. She is an avid social and competitive West Coast Swing dancer.