A musician of unusual versatility and natural musicality, Joshua Johnson began his musical life in rural Pennsylvania as a violist at the age of 9. By 13, he was performing in chamber groups, school orchestras, local and regional symphonies playing violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone. This early exposure to "doubling" kindled a deep love of the tools musicians use to create their art, and a recognition that there is as much artistry that goes into creating a musical instrument as there is in performing on one.
Following studies at the Juilliard School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, after taking a break from performing to focus on other interests (during this time, he obtained a certification in pâtisserie and baking, another lifelong passion), Josh realized that his true calling lay in the orchestra pits of the theater world where he could make full use of his multi-instrumental abilities and not primarily on the concert stage. While he has never stopped performing in symphony orchestras, chamber groups and as an occasional recitalist, it is in theater where he has spent the bulk of his performing career. Over the past 6 years, as a musician in the orchestras of various national and international Broadway productions, he has played for over 2 million people on 3 continents in venues ranging from Atwood Hall in Anchorage to Suntory Hall and Theatre Orb in Tokyo. He has also been fortunate enough to indulge his passion for the tools of the trade along the way, trying every woodwind instrument he could possibly get his hands on (and there were many!) and accumulating a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in all things woodwind-equipment-related.
The inevitable fruit of this discovery-laden wanderlust is his wildly popular woodwind blog, Woodwind Wonderland, which seeks to inform both the casual and career woodwind artist in all facets of the breadth of instruments available beyond the narrow list of familiar makes and models most people have grown up with. (His article detailing 17 of the top international oboe makers alone has garnered over 14,000 individual views as well as printings in various publications).
Perhaps even more than for his unusually well-developed skills on all members of the woodwind family, Josh is becoming widely known in the musical instrument industry as a thought leader and equipment/materials expert with an uncanny knack for matching players with the perfect instrument for their needs and playing style, and is greatly sought after as a resource and consultant by many who are overwhelmed with their options when purchasing a new instrument.
He is currently working on expanding and collating all of this information and experience into a book, which he hopes will become an invaluable resource for performers, parents, and educators.
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