Conductor | Opera Coach | Accompanist
Adam Johnson is one of the most versatile and exciting young musicians to have founded his own orchestra in recent years. The Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, of which he is both Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, has attracted the attention of concert-goers in London since its formation in 2007 (‘Thrilling’ Classical Source 2011). Unique among the outstanding artists of his generation, Johnson is as equally at home conducting opera as he is fulfilling the role of soloist in concerto repertoire, playing chamber music, or directing his own large-scale compositions.
Winner of the Ricordi Operatic Conducting Prize whilst still studying under Sir Mark Elder, Adam Johnson was invited to assist Ari Benjamin Meyers on his multi-media contemporary theatre work Il tempo di Postino as part of the Manchester International Festival. His outstanding contribution to the production led the following year to associate conductorship of the London première of Jonathan Dove’s opera Flight with British Youth Opera under Nicholas Cleobury. His subsequent operatic successes have included direction of Karol Szymanowski’s rarely performed King Roger and Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Elemental Opera, a young innovative touring company with whom he enjoys an ongoing partnership.
A former scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music with the Sema Group Contemporary Performance Prize to his credit (for his performance of Lowell Lieberman Concerto No.1 – ‘a bravura…terrific performance’ Liebermann) Adam Johnson continues his piano studies with Peter Feuchtwanger who has described him as in possession of ‘an excellent technique and full of fantasy’.
Future plans include developing an ambitious educational programme in inner London with the Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, which enjoys a residency at St Saviour’s Church, Pimilco. When time permits Johnson enjoys playing chamber music with colleagues at the North Yorkshire Chamber Music Festival and at other prestigious events. The composer Oliver Knussen has spoken of the ‘extraordinary detail’ of his performances.
“A Revelation” – My Discovery of the Year 2009, Jonathan Pryce CBE
“Incisive and Committed” – Guardian 2010
“Thrilling” – Edward Clark, President of The Sibelius Society 2011