Michael Johanson

johanson,michael cropped jpg mugMichael Johanson’s music reflects a deep interest in bringing together materials drawn from a wide range of styles and approaches, all filtered through a distinctly personal voice. His work is informed by an abiding interest in timbral and coloristic possibilities, a wide-ranging harmonic palette, an interest in extended instrumental techniques, and the occasional integration of elements found in jazz. Johanson’s compositions have been performed at various concerts and festivals throughout the United States and abroad by distinguished soloists and ensembles.

Mr. Johanson has received awards and/or fellowships from institutions such as the American Music Center, ASCAP,  the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Wildacres Residency, and Palazzo Rinaldi (Noepoli, Italy). He is the 2016 recipient of the Oregon Music Teachers Association Composer of the Year Award, and is one of only two recipients selected for an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award. Johanson is the 2009 winner of the Gil Seeley Prize in Composition, an award given by the Oregon Repertory Singers for his composition “Earth Dweller.” He served as the 2012 Composer-in-Residence at the Jubilus Music Festival in Gainesville, Florida.

Johanson’s music has been commissioned by numerous ensembles of distinction, such as Portland Piano International; the International Beethoven Project (Chicago, IL), Trio Bella Voce, the Northwest Horn Orchestra, Post-Haste Duo, Portland Percussion Group, the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the Oregon Repertory Singers, VIR Men’s Ensemble; the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival; and the March Music Moderne festival. Other performances include those given by Fear No Music; Third Angle; Resonance Ensemble; VIR Men’s Ensemble; the James Madison University Contemporary Music Festival; June in Buffalo; the Society of Composers Incorporated; the Williams College Chamber Players; Wild Rumpus; Western Washington University; the Great Western Horn Symposium in Las Vegas; “A Celebration of New Music” at Texas Tech University; Cascadia Composers; and the Lewis & Clark College Orchestra. Performances outside of the states have taken place in venues such as St. John’s Smith Square in London, England; the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China; the Peterskirche Basel in Basel, Switzerland; the Thai National Theater Recital Hall in Bangkok; the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore; the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France; and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Australia, July 2017).

Distinguished performers who have played and/or commissioned Mr. Johanson’s music include saxophonist Frederick Hemke, violinist Kia-Hui Tan, pianist Justin Bartlett, pianist Peter Henderson, saxophonist Iwan Roth, hornist Leander Star, pianist James Giles, clarinetist Kevin Schempf, hornist Brian Kilp, saxophonist Sean Fredenburg, bassoonist Javier Rodriguez; violinist Inés Voglar, violist Joël Belgique, clarinetist Dunja Marcum, pianist Susan Smith, trombonist Garth Simmons, and many others.

Recordings of Johanson’s music include “Memento,” recorded by internationally acclaimed saxophonist Frederick Hemke on his CD titled “Simple Gifts,” and “Dynamo” for solo trombone, featured on Garth Simmons’ “American Visions” CD. Johanson’s “Eternal Gardens” was recently recorded for Portland Piano International, and an upcoming recording by the Post-Haste Duo will feature Johanson’s “Soundscapes.” Mr. Johanson’s music is published by September Hills, Honeyrock Publishing, and Dorn Publications.

Formerly on the faculties of Indiana State University, Williams College, and Stetson University, he is Associate Professor of Composition and Music Theory and Department Chair at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He serves as Artistic Director of Friends of Rain, Lewis & Clark’s faculty contemporary music ensemble.

Comments are closed.

  1. For a complete CV, including references, please contact me.