Violinist Johnna W. is an active performer and improviser in North America, Europe, and Asia. She is inspired and draws strong influences from classical and contemporary music, East-Asian folk music, jazz, tango, and musical theatre. Johnna graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts with double degrees in Biology and Musicology and obtained a Masters of Music degree in violin performance at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Joseph Lin. While at Columbia, Johnna organized a year-long series for residents of the Morningside Heights community created to unify people of all artistic and intellectual backgrounds through musical performances. In 2015, Johnna was the only artist awarded the Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany and was sponsored by the State Department of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Johnna’s most recent performances include appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Elbphilarmonie in Hamburg, the Paris Philharmonie, and Carnegie Hall, including a special performance for the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. She has appeared at the Lucerne Academy Festival, Opus XXI Sommer Academie in Donaueschingen, Germany, the Yellow Barn Festival, and the Banff Summer Music Festival. She has collaborated with an eclectic range of artists including the Nueva Tango founder Pablo Ziegler, avant-garde jazz artists saxophonist Harri Sjöström and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey, and with composers such as Bright Sheng, Zosha di Castri, and Simon Kanzler.
A dedicated educator, Johnna integrates improvisation, composition, and bodywork in her teaching methods as ways to develop a highly engaging and well-rounded approach to learning the violin. Johnna engages her students with a positive and holistic approach while emphasizing performance as the most inspiring and rewarding aspect of playing the violin.