Johnny Walker, Jr is a professional musician in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He started playing the cello as a beginner with the DC Youth Orchestra Program at 10 years old. His love of music and hard work allowed him to excel in the program.
Prior to pursuing his undergraduate degree, Johnny earned many awards and performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the country. Some of the venues include the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Carter Baron Amphitheater, the Atlas Theater, the Lincoln Theater, the Smithsonian Zoo, and the Hatch Memorial Shell. He was selected to perform in the Maryland All-State Senior Orchestra and the National Symphony’s Youth Day Orchestra. Johnny also participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute summer program, and was a recipient of the Maryland Distinguished Scholarship for Young Collegiate Artists.
Johnny received his Bachelors of Arts in Music Performance from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. While at UMBC, he began teaching at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program as a Low Strings teaching assistant. He continued to perform as a freelance musician in the Baltimore - Washington Metropolitan area and internationally. He has participated in the Endless Mountain Music Festival, the inaugural season of Festival Baltimore, and the Colour of Music Festival. After receiving his BA degree, Johnny performed and collaborated with numerous musicians and ensembles such as the Bel Canto Singers of the Bahamas, Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, Esperanza Spalding, the Lancaster, McLean, Mid-Atlantic, and Soulful Symphonies, the United States Air Force Band, the Oakwood University’s Gospel Choir, the Eagles, Vanessa Williams, Joshua Bell, Snoh Aalegra, the Matt Jones Orchestra, and with the world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Currently, Johnny runs his own private studio and teaches at multiple programs in the DC metropolitan area. He is cello instructor at Suitland High School’s CVPA program, the National Conservatory of Arts, Levine Music, and the Richardson School of Music. Johnny is also a strings teaching artist for the Washington Performing Arts’ Capital Strings program. Whenever he is not teaching, Johnny performs with the Go-Go Symphony, DC Strings Workshop, and independently as a freelancer.
Through the years, his primary cello teachers have been Élise Sharpe from the String Queens, Gunnery Sergeant Denna Purdie (Ret.), and Gita Ladd. He participated in masterclasses held by Carlos Prieto, Norman Fischer, Cecylia Barczyk, Emanuel Gruber, Michael Kannen, Richard Belcher, and Claude Hauri of Trio des Alpes. Johnny performs on a William Hu Snow cello, a Luis & Clark cello,and an NS Design CR-5 electric cello.
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