Louise Johnson, a leading Australian harpist, began her harp studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School with June Loney. After receiving an Australia Council Study Grant, she later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Salzedo Summer Harp School in the United States with the world renowned harpist and teacher, Alice Chalifoux.
At 18, she was appointed Principal Harp of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for one year before continuing her freelance career overseas. She lived in London between 1983 and 1985, performing regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra as Guest Principal Harp and Second Harp under the baton of such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado and Richard Hickox. She also gave recitals in Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room.
Louise Johnson has performed with all the major Australian Symphony and Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Ensemble. She also performed with artists such as Cher, Sammy Davis Jnr and the Bee Gees, and has toured Australia with companies such as the Bolshoi and Sadler’s Wells ballet, accompanying Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn.
Having given her first performance with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14, she later won the position of Principal Harp in 1985. She has worked under all of the major Conductors since 1970, from Dean Dixon to Vladamir Ashkenazy.
She regularly appears as a soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1990 she performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with James Galway and in 2006 performed Spohr’s Concertante for Violin and Harp with Michael Dauth. In 1996 she performed the Ginastera Harp Concerto in Seattle for the World Harp Congress and again in 2014 giving the world premiere of Lee Bracegirdle's Legend of the Old Castle, under the baton of Simone Young.
Louise Johnson has taught harp at the Sydney Conservatorium for 32 years. She is in great demand as a tutor and has taught regularly at the Australian National Music Camp. Louise understands the importance of working with children and has undertaken a Working with Children Check and has Child Protection and Appropriate Behaviour Certification.
On a personal note, Louise's major passion in life is nurturing rescue pets with special needs.
Princess Grace, her beloved cat is blind, has 3 legs, 3 teeth, high blood pressure and asthma, to name just a few of her idiosyncrasies.
Louise cares greatly and is engaged with a number of charities and contributes to various organisations including Amnesty International, Animals Australia, World Vision, Red Cross, Medecins sans Frontieres and Unicef.