Douglas B Johnson
Professor of Music, Emeritus
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Trinity College faculty member since 1988
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Ph.D., Univ. of California
M.A., Univ. of California
B.A., Humboldt State Univ.

Violinist and composer Douglas Bruce Johnson was born in Oakland, California in 1949, and grew up on the Pacific north coast. From 1970-72 he studied with composer Friedrich Neumann at the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria. After earning the B.A. at Humboldt State University in 1974, he was active as a performer in chamber groups and orchestras.  In the 1980's he joined the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, who commissioned his first large orchestral works.  He earned the Ph.D. in Music at the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, working with Andrew Imbrie, Olly Wilson, and Michael Senturia. In 1988 he joined the Trinity music faculty, and earned tenure in 1995.

Johnson asserts that all musicians share a common goal: to communicate, to connect with others through their thoughts expressed as sounds. This goal over-arches all styles, traditions, and periods.  He bases his teaching on the firm conviction that real musical mastery comes with a comprehensive approach. Each component of one's musicianship needs regular training and exercise. Whatever the stage of musical development, steady progress results from cultivating four aspects of musicianship.

Listen: to many kinds of music, again and again; and, to yourself, whether practicing or performing
Pulse: look for just the right quality of the pulse that supports each moment of the music and its message
Study: get (and stay) curious about every aspect of music: music's cultures, histories, theories, and performance practices
Practice: regularly, with the brain engaged, to identify and solve problems, and always with the listener in mind, asking: what have I got to say with this music, right now?