Ken Johnston

October 15


Glazunov Violin Concerto


Ken Johnston is active both as a performer and a teacher of the violin. In addition to his performing as Concertmaster of the Erie Philharmonic, he holds the same chair with the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra of Cleveland, and has also sat as Acting Concertmaster with the Ohio Valley Symphony. As soloist, he has performed the violin concerti of Barber, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Mozart. He has been featured alongside Cleveland Orchestra principal cellist Mark Kosower, and also appeared in duo with Berlin Philharmonic Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley in a premier of David Stock’s Double Violin Concerto, Taking Sides. Donald Rosenberg of The Plain Dealer remarked that Johnston “triumphed whenever he touched bow to strings”, and Zachary Lewis of The Plain Dealer wrote that “Johnston treated the audience to a suave and magisterial reading….” of the Beethoven Concerto. Johnston has played as an ensemble member of the Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and Cleveland Pops Orchestras of Ohio, as well as the Virginia Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony of West Virginia. Outside of the orchestral world, he has performed with the Oblivion Project, a small ensemble which solely performs the tango music of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. He has also been a regular guest on WQLN radio in Erie, where he has performed, been interviewed, and co-hosted radio programs.                                                    

In addition to teaching at Cleveland State University, he has taught violin students at the Ohio State University, and has served on the faculty of Mercyhurst University, where he taught both violin and viola to undergraduate music students and conducted ensemble performances such as Mozart’s Opera, The Magic Flute. He has also been a faculty member of the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival, where he performed as a member of the Luzerne Chamber Players.

His violin students have performed both within the ensemble and as professional soloist with the Erie Philharmonic. Several have been competition winners and as a   result have performed as soloist with the Ohio State University Orchestra, the Young Artist’s Debut Orchestra of Erie, the Erie Junior Philharmonic, and the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Orchestra. They have been accepted as violin students at the Berklee College of Music, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Baldwin Wallace    Conservatory, Nazareth College, Mercyhurst University, and Cleveland State University. They have also attended prestigious summer festivals such as the International Music   Academy Pilsen, the Interlochen Summer Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Violin Performance, Johnston studied with Professor David Updegraff and served as Mr. Updegraff's Teaching Assistant.