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Ms Louise Johnson 

Sydney Conservatorium Rising Stars Tenure

Principal Harp Queensland Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Performances with Cher, Sammy Davis Jnr, and the Bee Gees

 

Music Director of Roseville Music Club

Profile

 

Louise Johnson, an esteemed harpist and an Associate of the London College of Music, commenced her harp journey at the age of 12 under the guidance of June Loney at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School.

Venturing into the professional realm at 15, she earned an Australia Council Study Grant, enabling her to study with the renowned harpist Alice Chalifoux at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Salzedo Summer Harp School in the United States.

At 18, Louise assumed the role of Principal Harp for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra before embarking on an illustrious freelance career abroad. Her London residency from 1983 to 1985 saw her performing as Guest Principal Harp and Second Harp with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of eminent conductors like Claudio Abbado and Richard Hickox. Recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room underscored her international presence.

Louise has graced the stages of major Australian Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras, including collaborations with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Ensemble. Her versatility shines through performances alongside iconic artists such as Cher, Sammy Davis Jnr, and the Bee Gees. Touring with the Bolshoi and Sadler’s Wells Ballet Companies, featuring luminaries like Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn, further embellished her diverse career.

An integral part of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) since her debut at 14, Louise claimed the position of Principal Harp in 1985, which she held until her retirement from SSO in 2019. Over five decades, she collaborated with major conductors and took center stage as a soloist, performing notable concertos and premiering compositions.

A dedicated educator, Louise has imparted her harp expertise at the Sydney Conservatorium for 35 years. Her teaching prowess extends to roles at the Australian National Music Camp and Harp Holiday. As the Director and Founder of Harp Holiday, Music Director of Roseville Music Club, and Patron of the Harp Society of NSW, Louise Johnson continues to shape and inspire the harp community.

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Sydney School of Music and Fine Arts
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