At a glance
"A gripping performance"New York Times
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, the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award and a Classical Brit. He has performed with many leading international orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, 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 and forthcoming seasons have included concertos with Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic (Ilan Volkov), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sakari Oramo), Aurora Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie. Guy continues to play chamber music and recitals at prestigious venues and festivals across Europe including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Louvre Museum, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Three Choirs Festival and MusicFest Aberystwyth. He is also presenting programmes with Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Melvyn Tan. Guy was privileged to perform as part of the Wigmore Hall and BBC Radio 3 special series of concerts, livestreamed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He gave weekly outdoor impromptu recitals in his home village in Dorset, which was featured by BBC during the UK lockdown.
A prolific recording artist, Guy’s recent recordings include Howells’ Cello Concerto with Britten Sinfonia (a piece he also gave the premiere of) and a celebration disc of the tricentenary of his David Tecchler cello, collaborating with the acclaimed Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where the cello was made. The 2019 season saw the release of his recording Themes and Variations with Tom Poster, comprising works by Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Rachmaninov, MacMillan, Fauré and Martinu.
Guy is a passionate advocate for contemporary composers regular commissioning, performing and recording new works. He gave the premiere of Charlotte Bray’s ‘Falling in the Fire’ at the BBC Proms in 2015 and Emma Ruth Richards ‘Until a Reservoir no longer remains’ (with Sheku Kanneh-Mason). He has recently commissioned works by composers such as David Matthews, Mark Simpson and Joseph Phibbs.
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 as a 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 is Artistic Director of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival and a founder member of the award-winning Aronowitz Ensemble. 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.
Guy plays a 1714 David Tecchler cello, generously on loan from the Godlee-Tecchler Trust which is administered by The Royal Society of Musicians.
Praise for Guy Johnston's return to the BBC Proms Read more
Today, two Ikon Arts artists perform at the BBC Proms. Read more
A selection of highlights that Ikon/EPAM artists have been involved in during lockdown Read more
Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival 2020 entirely available online Read more
'Absolute Classics Live Room': Ikon Artists Guy Johnston and Fenella Humphreys have both contributed to the series. Read more
“The secret to performing Howells’s music – apart from ensuring those rich harmonies are bang in tune – is to catch its very English way of expressing deep feeling, which works by repression and hints rather than direct statement. Guy Johnston does this especially well in his performance of the Cello Concerto, which emerges as a substantial piece. And it’s not all repression; with the surprisingly joyful and energetic Finale he really seizes the moment.”Daily Telegraph
" A gripping performance"New York Times
“The playing is consistently polished and elegant"BBC Music Magazine
"Guy Johnston was a magnificent soloist, delivering luminous, long-spun melodies like the most gentlemanly of baritones, and presenting virtuoso torrents as if they were second nature."Arts Desk
Selected Discography —
Howells Cello Concerto
BBC Music Magazine
eloquent performance" 5 Stars
Themes and Variations
sparklingly played with an effortless sense of style and brio, captured truthfully in glowing sound
“Guy Johnston captures its wistful, yearning quality to perfection, surfing the music’s impassioned dynamic range with a beguiling, velvet sonority that opens out thrillingly in moments of special intensity.”
Classical Music Magazine
“Johnston offers a stunning tour-de-force. Imaginatively conceived and beautifully performed, this disc is a winner.”
Moeran Cello Concerto
BBC Music Magazine
In Guy Johnston[,] [the Cello Concerto] has a soloist entirely sensitive to its swift and sometimes paradoxical changes of mood: this is an effective performance of a little-heard and underrated work.
The New York Times
David Matthews Orchestral Works
BBC Radio 3
Guy Johnston is a technically immaculate soloist
Related Media —
- Nicola Semple