Blake-Anthony Johnson's multifaceted career encompasses work as an administrator, performer, collaborator, recording artist, and educator. Johnson's passion for increasing the accessibility of the arts comes from his long history of national appearances across the country and international tours across Europe and Asia. A strong ambassador of arts education, Johnson’s portfolio includes work with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, New World Symphony, El Sistema, Academia Filarmónica de Medellín, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Nashville Symphony. Currently the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Sinfonietta, Johnson is responsible for promoting the championing of equity, diversity, and inclusion by creating community through bold symphonic experiences. A strong advocate of equity, inclusion, and diversity, he serves on the board of South Florida CARES Mentoring Movement and works as a consultant.
Self-taught until the age of 18, Johnson has developed a diverse professional career as a guest principal cellist, chamber musician, soloist and recitalist around the globe. Johnson has been featured on several broadcasts, with previous radio performances on NPR’s “From the Top” with Christopher O’Riley and “What makes it great” with Rob Kiplow. Passionate about chamber music, Johnson is a founding member and former cellist in the Läc Quartet. As the recipient of the Vanderbilt Music Académie grant, the quartet received commissions and residency in the Festival d’Aix festival held in Aix-en-Provence, France. Past solo and chamber engagements have been with the Spoleto USA Music Festival, Lev Aronson Legacy Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra and Brevard Music Festival. Johnson's orchestral debut highlights include solo performances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as well as his solo debut in Japan on tour with the New York Symphonic Ensemble.
Johnson is a prizewinner in the MTNA Young Artist Competition, the World Competition, the Daniel Rains, and Brevard Music Festival Concerto competitions. He received his Bachelor of Music degree under Felix Wang and Kathryn Plummer while attending the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, later studying under Bryan Dumm and Alan Harrell of the Cleveland Orchestra for his Master's of Music degree. Johnson's professional studies degree was completed at the Manhattan School of Music in the Orchestral Performance program. Additional studies were with Martin Löhr, Aline Champion, David Geber, Alan Stepanksy, Alan Rafferty, and Wolfram Koessel.