Classical Pianist, Conductor to Blur Genre Lines at Dalton State
January 17, 2014
Craig Johnson, a well-traveled classical conductor and multi-instrumentalist, will perform a free concert at Dalton State College Friday, January 24, at 7:30 pm.
Marrying the genres of American folk, jazz, classical, and Finnish music, among others, Johnson’s recital promises to be an interesting and varied program.
“While the program is completely ‘classical’ in nature, it invokes the American folk tradition, the powerful music of Franz Liszt with Libby Larsen’s ‘Mephisto Rag,’ Finnish music, and a bit of jazz flavor by George Gershwin,” says Dr. Ellie Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Music at Dalton State College.
Based in Minneapolis, Johnson’s career as a pianist has taken him across the United States as the Finlandia Foundation’s “Performer of the Year.” He has played solo recitals from places like New York, Hartford, and Tucson, to Germany and Finland.
In addition to his prowess as a pianist, Johnson has served as a music coach/accompanist for the voice institute Atelier Apulia in Italy. He has also conducted the Florida Symphony, Rome (Italy) Festival Orchestra, North Star Opera, and the Superior Festival Orchestra, among many others. Additionally, Johnson spent six seasons in German opera houses as pianist, Director of Stage Play Music, assistant conductor, and bassist.
Widely hailed as a gifted musician with a knack for bringing out the deep-rooted emotions of the pieces he plays and conducts, Johnson founded and conducts the Minnehaha Music Repertory Orchestra in Minnesota.
With his expertise in so many genres, Johnson seeks to present important, new, and sometimes neglected works to the public in a context that audiences can ultimately embrace and understand. “Craig Johnson will be bringing us an exciting program with a much wider variety of music than the norm for a solo pianist,” says Dr. Jenkins.
Craig Johnson will perform his piano recital on Friday, January 24. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm in Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall at Dalton State College. Seating is first-come, first-served.