Philharmonic’s Robinson Appears With Gustavus’ Johanna Johnson

Posted on April 25th, 2005 by

Six years after Oboist Johanna Johnson appeared on stage at Avery Fisher Music Hall with the New York Philharmonic, she presents her senior oboe recital on Friday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Gustavus’s Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall. Joining her on stage, as he did six years ago, is the Philharmonic’s principal oboist, Joseph Robinson.

Although this appearance is unprecedented, Joe Robinson notes that he’s only returning the favor of Johanna’s appearance with the Philharmonic in 1999.

In 1999, Johanna Johnson was a junior in high school fighting cancer with a wish to sit in the middle of a major professional orchestra and play the oboe. The National Make-A-Wish Foundation granted her that wish. The New York Philharmonic opened its heart to the young player and allowed her to sit in on a Saturday rehearsal. Following the rehearsal, the Philharmonic took the wish one step further; they asked Johanna to play in that evening’s concert making her only the second amatuer musician in its history to perform during a concert (George Plimpton once played the triangle with the Phil).

Now it’s six years later and Johanna, a senior music and religion major at Gustavus, is cancer-free. The experience with the Philarmonic remains one of the high points of her life and she has remained in contact with Robinson. The relationship comes full circle this week as Robinson, as an artist in residency at Gustavus, will perform in Johanna’s senior recital as well as soloing with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra.

Johanna opens her recital in a joint performance with Joseph Robinson of G. F. Handel’s Sonata in D Major. They are accompanied by Coni Liljengren, harpsichord and Sara Given, ‘cello. She then continues solo with Saint-Saens’ Sonata for Oboe and Piano. Following a short intermission, she returns to the stage to present the Petite Complainte for Oboe and Piano by Frank Martin and ends the recital with Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, assisted by Emma Jordan, violin, Zach Armstrong, viola and Sara Given, ‘cello.

Johanna Johnson’s senior recital with guest artist Joseph Robinson is free and open to the public. A reception for the two performers will be held in the recital hall lobby following the recital.


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