Trace Johnson

Cello, 2012


Trace Johnson is an emerging young cellist who brings a fresh understanding and flavor to the classical and contemporary music scene via his deep appreciation of a wide range of musical genres. Mr. Johnson grew up in Madison,Wisconsin and recently received his Bachelor of Cello Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Mr. Johnson began playing cello at age six and received his earliest training with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra and Midwest Young Artists. In 2005, Trace toured Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic with WYSO. Mr. Johnson was acting principal of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra while performing Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” on the critically acclaimed radio program, “From The Top,” in the fall of 2005. Trace has performed several solo recitals in Madison, Wisconsin, and Cleveland, Ohio, at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Trace’s principal teachers have been Melissa Kraut and Tanya Carey; he has also studied with Eleanor Schoenfeld, Mark Kosower, Tony  Ross, David Russell, Joseph Johnson, Alicia Weilerstein, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Eugene Friesen, Mark Summer, and Parry Karp.

Mr. Johnson is an avid contemporary music enthusiast. In 2010, Trace attended the Icicle Creek Music Festival in Washington where he premiered Austin Schlicting’s Piano Trio, “The Alchemy of Happiness”. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Johnson attended the Fresh Inc. Festival in Wisconsin where he premiered Haley Shaw’s Speakpiece, a trio for cello, alto flute, and bass clarinet, and Eugene Astapov’s The Sound to an Empty Manuscript, for string and woodwind dectet. In the spring of 2012, Mr. Johnson had the privilege to work closely with American composer Steven Stucky and performed his solo cello work, Dialoghi, at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a member of the New Music Ensemble.

Inspired by his father, legendary jazz bassist, Marc Johnson, Trace has been involved with alternative string playing and improvisation from an early age. In addition to cello, Mr. Johnson also sings and plays guitar, bass, banjo, and mandolin. Trace has performed with several bands, including the El Super Music Collective, in Cleveland, and Xellarhatch, in Madison.


Eugene Astapov – The Sound for an Empty Manuscript
for flute,oboe,clarinet,french horn,bassoon,violin,viola,cello, double bass,and piano


Haley Shaw – Speakpiece
for alto flute, bass clarinet, and cello