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Malcolm Johnston

Professorial Staff - Viola


Malcolm Johnson


Malcolm Johnston is in the enviable position of having vast experience in all forms of viola playing whether that be as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player or teacher.

He currently holds the Sub-Principal viola chair in the London Symphony Orchestra working with the world’s greatest conductors including Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta and Seiji Ozawa to name a few. He is also Principal Viola with the European Camerata and has appeared as Guest Principal Viola with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

As a chamber musician, Malcolm joined the Amernet String Quartet in 1990 after meeting at the Julliard School in New York. The quartet went on to be the recipient of many major awards including the prestigious Gold Medal at the 1992 Tokyo International Chamber Music Competition. They performed all over the USA, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and Australia and held residencies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, LSU and The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts while also participating in the Aspen, Tanglewood, Norfolk and Great Lakes Summer Festivals.

More recently, Malcolm has worked as guest violist with the Leopold String Trio at the Edinburgh Festival and the Snape Proms, participated in the Chamber Music series at the Wigmore Hall with the LPO Chamber Players as well as featuring as violist with the Falk Quartet. He has collaborated with several distinguished musicians including Ruth Laredo, Miriam Fried, Nathaniel Rosen and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider.

Malcolm earned his Bachelor’s degree at the RSAMD, Glasgow (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and continued his studies with John White at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Other teachers included Masao Kawasaki and Jerzy Kosmala. Among others who have given direction to Malcolm’s career are the Tokyo, La Salle, Emerson and Amadeus String Quartets and Isaac Stern, during the inaugural season of his Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall, New York.

As an educator, Malcolm has been a visiting professor at Trinity Laban, the RAM and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for several years. He is especially sought after as a mentor for young musicians preparing for auditions and embarking on their careers with several former students now holding prominent positions in orchestras around the UK. Malcolm is very excited to now hold the position of Professorial Staff- Viola at Trinity Laban.

In 1997, he was elected an Associate of the RAM (ARAM).