Special to the Journal
When he was 10, Gareth Johnson and his dad attended a St. Louis Symphony Orchestra concert. That’s when Johnson first heard famed violinist Itzhak Perlman perform. That performance made Johnson decide to learn how to play the violin. He went on to become a child prodigy and has been called the Tiger Woods of classical violin.
Now in his mid-20s, Johnson has performed around the world and won numerous awards because of his musical virtuosity. On Sunday, April 3, he’ll bring his talents to Albany for a recital at the Albany Municipal Auditorium during Albany State University’s Founder’s Day Weekend.
Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in music performance from the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Fla.
His accomplishments include winning the Sphinx Competition Senior Division in 2010 and the Junior Division in 2002 as well as the Lynn University Conservatory Competition in 2008. Johnson’s other awards include a Lynn University Music Scholarship (2002-2009), the Madelyn Savarick Annual Music Scholarship Competition (2004), Arts Recognition and Talent Search (Arts) Award (2003), New World Symphony Concerto Competition (2002), Lynn University Young Musician Competition for Strings (2002), St. Louis Gateway “Young Heroes in Music” Award (2001), St. Louis Laclede String Quartet Solo Competition (2001) and Collegiate All- American Scholar (2003).
From 2001 to 2010, Johnson held residencies or appeared as a solo performer with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Orchestra of the Triangle, the National Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, Boca Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall and others. Johnson has performed in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Battle Creek, Mich.; Rochester, N.Y.; Atlanta, Ga.; St. Louis, Mo.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Baltimore, Md.; Annapolis, Md.; Detroit, Mich.; Memphis, Tenn.; Albany, Ga.; and others.
Johnson’s Albany performance is part of the ASU Department of Fine Arts and Lyceum Performance Series. This year’s series is dedicated to Dr. T. Marshall Jones, retired head of the ASU Department of Fine Arts. The recital will begin at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15, $10 and $5. (ASU student tickets are $12, $7 and $3.) Tickets are available at the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center Box Office or at www.ticketmaster.com
In addition to the recital, Johnson will also hold a master class for local student violinists at 4 p.m. Monday, April 4, at the Albany Municipal Auditorium. For more information about the master class, call the ASU Department of Fine Arts at 430-4849.