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Overview


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Overview


The Sonata suggests a haunted poem, and Johanson communicated its rare imagery in an intense, virtuosic performance.

-Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

 

b.1989

Seattle, WA

 

Currently resides in:

Baltimore, MD

 

Degrees

Bachelor of Music from The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University

Master of Music from The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University

 
 

 

Cellist Lavena Johanson is a multifaceted musician who has performed throughout the United States and Canada.  Her passion for chamber music has led to performances with esteemed artists such as Robert McDuffie, Mischa Dichter, Peter Wiley, Andres Diaz, Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Elizabeth Pridgen.  Lavena was a founding member of the Atlas String Quartet, semifinalists in the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed new and recent works by Ted Hearne, Amy Beth Kirsten, Caroline Shaw, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir on Baltimore's Evolution Contemporary Music Series.  Lavena has also premiered two pieces written expressly for her by her husband, Judah Adashi, and is only the second cellist to have performed both of Michael Hersch's Sonatas for Unaccompanied Cello in one night.  Most recently, Lavena toured as a cellist with the indie rock band Ra Ra Riot, playing to sold-out crowds at the 9:30 Club (Washington, DC), The House of Blues (Cleveland, OH), and Lincoln Hall (Chicago, IL).  She has also released a recording of Judah Adashi's piece The Beauty of the Protest for singing cellist.  A native of Seattle, Lavena holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory.  She plays on a cello made by Jason Viseltear (New York) and Robert Young (France) in 2005.

News


"Cellist Lavena Johanson gives herself completely and effortlessly to Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto. Her Left Hand slides all the way down the strings with an ease and bravado any metal head could envy. she tosses her half-shaven head back with a smile, basking in the full backing of the orchestra, her joy, confidence, and thoroughly absorbing presence perfectly capturing the transformation and pride that come from surviving the horror, uncertainty, and grief brought on by large scale conflict." --- The occasional symphony Newsletter (2016)

News


"Cellist Lavena Johanson gives herself completely and effortlessly to Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto. Her Left Hand slides all the way down the strings with an ease and bravado any metal head could envy. she tosses her half-shaven head back with a smile, basking in the full backing of the orchestra, her joy, confidence, and thoroughly absorbing presence perfectly capturing the transformation and pride that come from surviving the horror, uncertainty, and grief brought on by large scale conflict." --- The occasional symphony Newsletter (2016)

News

 

upcoming:

 

March 19th, 2017

Performing Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S. Bach at the annual Bach Marathon @ St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore, MD.

march 2017

Release of The Beauty of the Protest for singing cellist by Judah Adashi .

 

past:

2016

 

November:

Became the second cellist to ever perform both of Michael Hersch's Solo Cello Sonatas in one evening.

October:

Together, with her husband, performed at TedX MidAtlantic.

September:

Played with Ra Ra Riot while they opened for Young The Giant's Home of the Strange Tour.

August:

GOT MARRIED!

May:

Performed the first two movements of the Elgar Cello Concerto with The Occasional Symphony Orchestra.

March - april:

Played with Ra Ra Riot on their Need Your Light Tour.

 

2015

October:

Performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Saratoga Symphony Orchestra in Whidbey Island, WA.

 

2014

September:

Released my heart comes undone for cello and looping pedal by Judah Adashi.

 

May:

Made it to the Semi-Finals of The Fischoff Chamber Music Competition with The Atlas String Quartet.

 

2013

February:

Performed Don Quixote by Richard Strauss with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra.

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Current Projects


Current Projects


Current Projects

 

Bach Cello suite No. 1

 

Brahms Double Concerto

 

Hersch last Autumn

This is a space for those who are interested in knowing what I am up to outside of the normal performing circuit. I have long term goals, passions, and interests that don't always have hard dates attached to them, but I still think they are worth sharing. Check out my journal to see more writings/thoughts about these projects and how they are progressing.

 

 

Photo credits: Faith Layla bocian (bio page photo), alexa frankovitch (ra ra riot show photos), Britt Olsen-ecker (headshots) and wasin Prasertlap (Quartet photos)