Trace Johnson

Musician. Educator. Artist.


Trace Johnson is an adventurous young American cellist whose passionate intellect and effortless musicality inspire all of his endeavors. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Trace now resides and works extensively throughout Florida as a performing cellist and teacher.


Trace has appeared as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician in a wide variety of settings. Trace has performed as a soloist in Belgium, Holland, Germany, China, Canada, and the United States. In Florida, Trace holds positions with the Sarasota Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and Orlando Philharmonic; he has performed as a guest artist with the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Nu Deco Ensemble, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Palm Beach Symphony, Kravis Pops Orchestra, Boca Symphonia, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Symphony of the Americas, Miami Symphony, Orchestra Miami, and the South Florida Symphony. Trace has served as guest principal cellist at the Nu Deco Ensemble, Southwest Florida Symphony, and South Florida Symphony. Trace has performed in chamber recitals with faculty from Florida Atlantic University, Lynn Conservatory, and Florida International University.


In 2014, while a student at Lynn Conservatory, Trace performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the Lynn Philharmonia after winning its annual concerto competition. Trace also won first prize in the 2014 Lyric Chamber Society of New York's Chamber Competition with his piano quintet and performed at the Kosciuszko Foundation in NYC in May 2015. In March 2017, Trace won first prize at the John Oliveira String Competition at Lynn Conservatory and performed works by Janáček, Barber, Beethoven, and Chopin in recital.


He has appeared in both orchestral and chamber ensembles as a fellowship recipient at the Atlantic Music Festival in Watertown, Maine and Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. At Atlantic Music Festival, Trace played in the Fellowship Orchestra and also collaborated with composers George Tsontakis, Donald Crockett, Ken Ueno, and Sol-bong Kim and performed their chamber works.  At Eastern Music Festival, Trace performed the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Gerard Schwarz and with eminent artists such as Midori, Anne Akiko-Myers, Stefan Jackiw, Awadagin Pratt, William Wolfram, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg. Trace performed with Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, a nationally acclaimed chamber music festival in Madison, Wisconsin as a member of their 'Dynamite Factory' Young Artist Program ( during their 2017 and 2018 seasons.


In addition to being an active and dynamic performer, Trace Johnson is a devoted educator; he has served as string instructor, group class leader, and private teacher in a variety of settings in Cleveland, Ohio and southern Florida. In 2014-15, Trace Johnson taught as the primary cello instructor at the Palm Beach Suzuki School of Music in West Palm Beach and attained Suzuki Pedagogy Certification in Chicago, Illinois, with Dr. Tanya Carey in 2015. Trace currently holds teaching positions at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida and Palm Beach Suzuki School of Music in West Palm Beach, Florida.


Trace's active interests include contemporary music, composition, and improvisation. Inspired by his father's work, the legendary jazz bassist Marc Johnson, Trace has explored a wide variety of music and has performed with jazz ensembles, experimental chamber ensembles, and amplified ensembles throughout his musical career.  In 2006, as soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music's Contemporary Music Ensemble, Trace performed Dialoghi by Steven Stucky under the tutelage of Steven Stucky. Cleveland Classical wrote, "Cellist Trace Johnson gave an outstanding performance of Dialoghi, bringing out the work's internal 'conversations' so well that the imagery of people discussing the latest news entered your mind— even if you had not read the program notes and learned that the composer himself describes the work as a conversation ("


Trace has been actively involved in the alternative string movement since his earliest days. His arrangements have been performed at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison, Wisconsin and the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Maryland. Johnson performed with the crossover string octet, Barrage 8 in the 2015-16 season throughout North America, Canada, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands ( Recently, Mr. Johnson co-wrote the soundtrack for the indie movie Christmas Trees, based on the Robert Frost poem, with Jack Whaley, Director of Photography at Shine United. Christmas Trees debuted at the Wisconsin Film Festival at Sundance Theatres in Madison, Wisconsin in April 2017. 


Trace received his Bachelor of Music in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2012 and his Master’s of Music from Lynn Conservatory in December 2016. Mr. Johnson's principal instructors have been David Cole, Dr. Melissa Kraut, Joseph Johnson, and Dr. Tanya Carey.