Emma Johnson, Clarinet
She is one of the UK’s biggest selling classical artists, having sold over half a million albums worldwide. Her recent recording of sonatas by Brahms and Mendelssohn with John Lenehan was described as “definitive…triumphant…a landmark disc” in The Observer and follows on from her classical charttopping successes: Voyage and The Mozart Album on the Universal label. Her much admired recording of the Finzi Concerto was nominated for a Gramophone Award and Pastoral was chosen as CD of the Year by BBC Music Magazine.
Emma has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras in repertoire that includes all the major clarinet works as well as pieces written especially for her by John Dankworth, Will Todd and Michael Berkeley amongst others. She has also collaborated with artists such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Dame Cleo Laine, Julian Lloyd Webber, Lesley Garrett, the Takacs Quartet, Pascal Rogé and John Lill. Emma Johnson’s TV appearances range from a recital for Sky Arts TV to prime-time chat shows and gala concerts. She featured in the Channel 4 documentary about the late Sir John Dankworth and played the popular hit theme tune for The Victorian Kitchen Garden on BBC TV (winning a Novello Award). Her radio work includes Artist of the Week for both BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM as well as for radio stations around the world and she has been interviewed on programmes such as Woman’s Hour and Midweek on BBC Radio 4.
Emma grew up in London and her career was launched when in 1984 at the age of 17 she won BBC Young Musician of the Year followed by the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. However she decided to study Music and English at Cambridge University before embarking fulltime on a musical path. A Patron of ClicSargent, the childhood cancer charity, Emma was also the first woman to be made an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge and was honoured by the Queen with an M.B.E. in 1996. Emma plays an instrument made by the English clarinet maker, Peter Eaton.
John Lenehan, Piano
Praised by the New York Times for his “great flair and virtuosity” and the London Times – “a masterly recital”, John Lenehan’s performances and recordings have been acclaimed throughout the world. As a soloist he has appeared with leading orchestras at home and abroad. In 2010/11 he made his debut with both the London Symphony Orchestra (at the Barbican) and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (at Philharmonic Hall) as well as performing with the RPO in the Royal Albert Hall. John Lenehan has collaborated with many leading instrumentalists and is recognised as an outstanding accompanist and chamber musician. During the past few years he has appeared in major concert halls in Amsterdam, Vienna, Salzburg, New York, Washington, Toronto, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.