by Rachel Yoder
In May 2015, nine winners of the annual Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition were announced, among them clarinetist Graeme Steele Johnson.
Johnson recently completed his Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance at The University of Texas at Austin, under the guidance of Dr. Nathan Williams. Recently, he has appeared in recital in Canada, Sweden, Spain, and throughout the state of Texas. Johnson spent the summer of 2014 performing and studying at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada; and later in 2014 at the Aurora Chamber Music Festival in Vänersborg, Sweden and the Murcia International Clarinet Seminar in Murcia, Spain, all under the tutelage of Yehuda Gilad. The same year, he was awarded the Silver Medal in the Young Texas Artists Music Competition and Honorable Mention in the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition.
The annual YYPA Program recognizes exceptional emerging jazz, classical and contemporary musicians. Winners are chosen after submitting recordings and supporting material, which are evaluated by a panel of Yamaha Performing Artists and national celebrity musicians. The winners received an all-expense paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend, held June 20-23, 2015, which included rehearsals, master classes, social events and workshops focused on how to establish and maintain a career in music.
Graeme Johnson joins the ranks of more than 200 former YYPA winners, a list which includes Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. This fall, Johnson will begin his Master of Music degree at Yale University, studying with renowned clarinetist David Shifrin.