Robert Johnson enjoys a growing career as an orchestral and chamber musician, soloist, and teacher of horn. Before joining the Houston Symphony in 2012 as Associate Principal Horn, Johnson was Assistant Principal/Utility Horn of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Principal Horn of both the Dayton Philharmonic and Richmond Symphony, and Fourth Horn of the Honolulu Symphony. He has also performed with the Houston Grand Opera, IRIS Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and both the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as a guest Principal Horn.
Johnson has performed as a Concerto Soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, New World Symphony, Texas Music Festival, at Chicago’s Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and nationwide as a recitalist and chamber musician. In the summers, he has performed with the AIMS, Aspen, Cascade, Colorado, Strings, and Tanglewood Music Festivals, as well as the Perlman Music Program and Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He can be heard performing on numerous recordings, commercials, and soundtracks made with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Dayton Philharmonic, Nashville String Machine Studio Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony.
In the Fall of 2013, Johnson joined the faculty of the Moores School of Music as an Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston, thus fulfilling a long-held dream of expanding his teaching to the collegiate level. Also a faculty member at the Texas Music Festival, he is in demand to lead masterclasses and lectures nationwide, most recently at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Johnson’s previous students have enjoyed acceptance and appointment to a multitude of prestigious universities, conservatories, summer music festivals, and professional ensembles. Acceptances include the Banff Centre for the Arts, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States, Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy, Yamaha’s Young Performing Artist Program, as well as the Brevard, Domaine Forget, Hot Springs, Lucerne, Pacific, Sarasota, and Texas Music Festivals. Collegiate acceptances include Carnegie Mellon, DePaul, Indiana, Northwestern, Rice, and Roosevelt Universities, the New England, Oberlin, and San Francisco Conservatories, as well as the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Peabody Institute. His students have performed with a number of professional ensembles, including City Music Cleveland, Hawaii Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.
A graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, he studied with William VerMeulen and received further training as a fellow with the New World Symphony. Johnson is a lifetime member of the International Horn Society and has authored for The Horn Call magazine. He is married to flutist and teacher Ariella Perlman, with whom he chases their twin boys, Ezra and Reuben.