Trace Johnson

Musician. Educator. Artist.


Trace Johnson is an adventurous young American cellist from Madison, Wisconsin, whose passionate intellect and effortless musicality inspire all of his endeavors. In Autumn 2014, Trace performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the Lynn Philharmonia after winning the 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. For the past two summers, Trace has appeared in both orchestral and chamber ensembles as a Fellow with the Atlantic Music Festival. At AMF, Trace collaborated with composers George Tsontakis, Donald Crockett, Ken Ueno, and Sol-bong Kim and performed their chamber works as part of the Contemporary Music Ensemble; Trace also performed with the AMF Fellowship Orchestra under maestro David Amado. In Summer 2017, Trace Johnson will be performing with the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison, WI as a member of their 'Dynamite Factory' Young Artist Program ( and attending the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC as an Orchestral Fellow.

Since returning to South Florida in 2016, Trace has appeared as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician in a variety of settings. Trace has performed as a full-time cellist with the Symphony of the Americas for the 2016-17 season and has served as guest principle cellist at the Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in Ft. Myers; recently, Trace won an audition for a section cello job with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and was a semi-finalist at the New World Symphony. In Spring 2017, Trace performed Schumann's Piano Quartet, Op. 47 in recital with Florida Atlantic University faculty-pianist, Irina Kaufmann, at the Barry-Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium; Trace also performed with Florida International University's faculty-percussionist, Rodolfo Zuniga and his band Surfaces in concerts throughout the Miami area. In March, Trace won first prize at the John Oliveira String Competition at Lynn Conservatory performing works by Janáček, Barber, Beethoven, and Chopin.

In addition to being an extremely 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 the South Florida since his undergraduate days. In 2014-15, Mr. Johnson worked 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's active interests include alternative string playing, contemporary music, composition, and improvisation. Inspired by his father's work, the legendary jazz bassist Marc Johnson, Trace has explored all kinds of music and has performed with jazz ensembles, experimental chamber ensembles, and a wide variety of amplified ensembles throughout his musical career.  In 2006, as soloist within the Cleveland Institute of Music's Contemporary Music Ensemble, Trace performed Dialoghi by Steven Stucky under the tutelage of Dr. Keith Fitch and Steven Stucky himself. 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 (" In the alternative string area, Trace's arrangements have been performed at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society chamber festival in Madison, WI, and the summer National Music Festival in Chestertown, MD. Johnson performed with the crossover string octet, Barrage 8, for their 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 from 1916, with Jack Whaley, Director of Photography at Shine United and founder of Jack Whaley Media. Christmas Trees debuted at the Wisconsin Film Festival at Sundance Theatres in Madison, WI 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; he is currently pursuing a Professional Performance Certificate at the Lynn Conservatory under the tutelage of David Cole. Mr. Johnson's principal instructors have been David Cole, Dr. Melissa Kraut, and Dr. Tanya Carey; other instructors include Lynn Harrell, Frances-Marie Uitti, Eleanor Schoenfeld, Mark Kosower, Amit Peled, Norman Fischer, Joseph Johnson, Thomas Landschoot, David Requiro, Alisa Weilerstein, Brian Thornton, Stephen Geber, Tony Ross, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Yegor Dyachkov, Michel Strauss, Brian Manker, Richard Weiss, Parry Karp, Hans Jensen, and Uri Vardi.