***Lura Johnson, Piano
***Years with BSO: 16
***Hometown: Oberlin, OH
***Age Started Playing Piano: 4
***Favorite Restaurant In Baltimore: Perennial
***Favorite Composer: Johannes Brahms
***Favorite Non-Musical Activity: I am an avid West Coast Swing dancer with roots in gymnastics, ballet, and ballroom dance. Although the pandemic has slowed me down a bit, I’m eager to get back to dancing in 2023. And I keep hoping that one day I’ll get to be one of the dancing Santas in the BSO Holiday Spectacular!
***First BSO Concert: My first day of work at the BSO was Marin Alsop’s first day of work as the new Music Director in 2007.
***Concert this Season You’re Most Excited About: I’m especially looking forward to playing Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances later this season with Jonathon Heyward. It’s an incredible piece of orchestration and I look forward to hearing his vision.
***Special Musical Memory: There was an evening, a moment in my teenage years, in which I knew, suddenly, that I wanted to play music as my life’s work. I was barefoot in a barn in western Massachusetts at a music camp called Greenwood performing Dvorak Piano Quintet with 4 other teenagers. My love for playing music and my wonderment at the impact it had on the audience illuminated my path forward into the life of a professional musician.
***Fun fact: also in that same barn that night was Mark Hanson, the BSO’s new CEO! We met when we were 15 years old. It’s a joy to have him here at the BSO.
***Tell Us About Your Big Project: Next season, I will release a set of recordings titled The Art of Prelude and Fugue, a first-of-its-kind curation of the entire Well-Tempered Clavier of J.S. Bach interspersed with the complete Preludes and Fugues of Dmitri Shostakovich, with an emphasis on the striking connections between the works. Presenting these two works interstitially is both shockingly unorthodox and a most natural partnership. The curation both contextualizes an exceedingly well-known work and brings to greater attention a lesser known masterpiece. You can read more about the project on my website, lurajohnson.com.
***About Cooking: In our household, dinnertime is anticipated and celebrated. My partner, David, and I enjoy cooking together, trying out new recipes from New York Times cooking, or a meal kit from Hello Fresh. We enjoy seeing our skill sets expand as we try new things together, listening to music always as we cook.