Guy Johnston


Guy Johnston is one of the most exciting British cellists of his generation. His early successes included winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year, and significant awards, notably the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award, Suggia Gift Award and a Young British Classical Performer Brit Award.

He has performed with many leading international orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Britten Sinfonia, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Moscow Philharmonic and St Petersburg Symphony.

Recent seasons have included a BBC Prom with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, concertos with The Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie and Orchestra of The Swan.

Performances and recordings with eminent conductors have included collaborations with Alexander Dmitriev, Sir Andrew Davis, Daniele Gatti, Ilan Volkov, Leonard Slatkin, Mark Wigglesworth, Robin Ticciati, Sir Roger Norrington, Sakari Oramo, Vassily Sinaisky, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Yuri Simonov.

Guy is a passionate advocate for chamber music and recitals as founding Artistic Director of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival and performs regularly at prestigious venues and festivals across Europe including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Louvre Museum, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moritzburg Festival, Three Choirs Festival and MusicFest Aberystwyth, collaborating with instrumentalists such as Anthony Marwood, Brett Dean, Huw Watkins, Janine Jansen, Kathy Stott, Lawrence Power, Melvyn Tan, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Tom Poster.

A prolific recording artist often championing contemporary British composers, Guy’s forthcoming releases include Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto with The Hallé and Rebecca Dale’s ‘Night Seasons’ with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Other recordings include a premier of the completed Howells’ Cello Concerto, reconstructed by Jonathan Clinch, with Britten Sinfonia gaining 5 star reviews, a celebration disc of the tricentenary of his David Tecchler cello with commissions by Charlotte Bray, David Matthews, Mark Simpson and a collaboration with the acclaimed Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where the cello was made.

He gave the premiere of Charlotte Bray’s ‘Falling in the Fire’ at the BBC Proms and Joseph Phibbs ‘Cello Sonata’ at Wigmore Hall. His 2024/2025 season will see the world premiere of Joseph Phibbs’ Cello Concerto for Guy and BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other premières include Emma Ruth Richards ‘Until a Reservoir no longer remains’ and a recording of Matthew Kaner’s solo suite for cello.

In addition to a busy and versatile career as an international soloist, chamber musician and guest principal, Guy is an inspiring leader of young musicians. He is Associate Professor of Cello at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and a guest Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded an Hon. ARAM in 2015. He has recently been appointed President of the European String Teachers Association and is patron of several charities which promote music education for school children and young people including Music First and Future Talent. He is also a board member of the Pierre Fournier Award for young cellists.

Guy Johnston plays the 1692 Antonio Stradivari cello known as the “Segelman, ex Hart” kindly loaned to him through the Beare’s International Violin Society by a generous patron.

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