Praised for his interpretive sensitivity, imaginative programming, and passion for connecting with audiences, Canadian pianist Carter Johnson has established himself as one of his generation’s most exciting pianists. His most recent competition awards include being the first prize laureate in the 2021 Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music as well as first prize winner of the 2020 Valsesia International Competition. In 2018, Johnson won the top prize in two of Canada’s most important competitions, garnering both the grand prize in the Concours OSM and the first prize in the CMC Stepping Stone competition. He also has recently won prizes in the Canada International Piano Competition, the ArtePiano International Competition, and the New York International Piano Competition. Other competition experience includes the Santander International Competition, the Shenzhen International Concerto Competition, the Dublin International Competition, and the Hilton Head International Competition.
Johnson has performed with orchestras including l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, l’Orchestre Métropolitain, the Rzeszów Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Americas, and his playing has been broadcasted by CBC Radio and medici.tv. Venues in which he has performed concertos or solo recitals include the Maison Symphonique, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, the Music Shed at Norfolk, the Shenzhen Concert Hall, and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Hall.
Born in 1996 on Vancouver Island, Canada, Johnson began the study of piano at age 5 with Shelley Roberts, with whom he had the privilege of studying both performance and pedagogy for over 12 years. After continuing his studies with Michelle Mares, he completed a Bachelor of Music with Mark Anderson at the University of British Columbia. He then received a Master of Music from the Juilliard School under the direction of Joseph Kalichstein and Matti Raekallio, and continued to the Yale School of Music, where he is currently completing a Master of Musical Arts with Wei-Yi Yang.
Equally at home in the worlds of solo, concerto, chamber, and art song, Johnson has a particular interest in bringing light to the lesser-explored parts of the repertory, most recently championing a collection of works by relatively unknown Polish composers. In addition to the music of J.S. Bach (where he feels most at home), he is a particular advocate for the music of composers such as Schumann, Grieg, Fauré, Ives, Hindemith, Poulenc, Shostakovich, and Messiaen. His secondary instrument work has included studies in oboe, voice, and harpsichord. Trained in elocution as a teenager, Johnson holds an ATCL with distinction in speech and drama from Trinity College London, and he regularly brings this expertise to his recitals in his discussions on the music that is being played — for many audiences, these continue to be a highlight of his performances.
Johnson currently resides in Hamden, Connecticut with his wife Hannah and their young boys Preston and Ambrose, where he maintains a busy schedule as a concert artist, student, and teacher. In his spare time, he and Hannah enjoy both cooking together and watching good films, and spending time outside with their boys enjoying the charms of New England.