This concert features works by female composers from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, honoring the bicentennial of Clara Schumann’s birth. Works include: Romance, Op. 11, No. 1 (1839) by Clara Schumann; Dreaming, Op. 15, No. 3 (1892) by Amy Beach; Trois morceaux pour piano (1914) by Lili Boulanger; Troubled Water (1967) by Margaret Bonds; Azuretta (2000) by Regina Harris Baoicchi; Preludes (2002) by Elena RuehrThe Currents (2013) by Sarah Kirkland Snider; Bolts of Loving Thunder (2013) by Missy Mazzoli.
An advocate for the adoption of the Donison-Steinbuhler Standard, offering alternatively-sized piano keyboards for small-handed pianists, Jessica Johnson will perform on the Steinbuhler DS 5.5 ™ (“7/8”) piano keyboard. By performing on a keyboard that better fits her hands (studies suggest that the conventional keyboard is too large for 87% of women!) and featuring works by female composers who are typically underrepresented in concert programming, Johnson hopes to bring awareness to gender biases that still exist in classical music.
Jessica Johnson serves on the piano faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, where in 2006, she was the recipient of UW-Madison’s prestigious Emil Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. Johnson frequently commissions and programs contemporary solo and chamber works, regularly performing with Sole Nero, a piano and percussion duo with Anthony Di Sanza, percussion. An advocate for the adoption of the Donison-Steinbuhler (DS) Standard, offering alternatively sized piano keyboards, her upcoming recording project features twenty-first century works by women performed on the DS5.5™ (“7/8”) keyboard. An active clinician, she has given workshops and presentations at the European Piano Teachers Association International Conference, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, ISME, MTNA, Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP), Portland International Piano Festival, as well as held residencies at major universities and colleges throughout North America, Europe and China. Johnson has articles published in American Music Teacher, Piano Journal of the European Piano Teachers Association, Clavier Companion, and the Piano Pedagogy Forum. She is a three-time winner of American Music Teacher’s Article of the Year Award for “Feeling the Sound: Reflections on Claiming One’s Own Musical Voice” (2014), “The Art of Listening with Depth, Understanding, Flow and Imagery” (2007), and “Awakening Rhythmic Intuition and Flow in the Developing Pianist” (2019). A devoted teacher, Johnson’s students have secured teaching positions in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. Passionate about community engagement and arts outreach, she serves as Director of Piano Pioneers, a program that brings high quality piano instruction to low-income community members and high-risk youth in Wisconsin. She holds the DMA and MM from the University of Michigan, and the BM from East Carolina University