Nicole Johnson


American cellist Nicole Johnson joins the MSM Precollege faculty in the 2023/2024 academic year.

She the third generation of professional musicians in her family and enjoys a diverse career as chamber musician, soloist, and educator. For 12 years, she was the cellist of the internationally acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet. During her tenure with the quartet she collaborated with many renowned 21st century composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Joan Tower, and Steven Stucky. Ms. Johnson can be heard with the Cassatt on recordings for the Naxos, Albany, Koch, New World Records, and Innova labels. In 2006, their album of works by Sebastian Currier was named by Alex Ross to his “10 Best Classical Recordings” feature in The New Yorker Magazine.

Ms. Johnson has performed in celebrated venues including the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the American Academy in Rome, as well as closer to home at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Space, and Bargemusic.

Currently, Ms. Johnson devotes most of her time to nurturing young musicians of all levels, from their very first forays into cello music through the college level. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Yale and Syracuse universities, taught at Bowdoin International Music Festival and the National Cello Institute, served as the director of the Cushing Cello Camp, and is currently on faculty at School for Strings and Special Music School.

Growing up in the Chicago area, her early studies were with Nell Novak and her father, Marc Johnson. She went on to work with Andres Diaz, Alan Harris (BM from Cleveland Institute of Music), Christoph Henkel in Germany, and Joel Krosnick (MM from Juilliard).

In addition to her commitment to classical music, a recent interest has been a deep exploration of Balkan folk music, including performing on the gadulka, a traditional Bulgarian fiddle.

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