Violist Leslie Faye Johnson received much of her performance training at The Juilliard School, where she studied with William Lincer, completing both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees; her Doctorate is from the University of Washington, where she studied with Steven Staryk and Eric Shumsky. Other teachers include Henryk Kowalski and Georg Janzer at Indiana University, Kim Kashkashian in New York City, Stephen Shingles in London, and Daniel Benjamini in master classes at the Aldeburgh Festival at the Britten-Pears School in England.
Leslie’s doctoral dissertation on the Shostakovich Viola Sonata includes an analysis of the first movement’s linear twelve-tone row using set theory. Published by Bärenreiter, this dissertation is often used in scholarly research.
Leslie performed for many years as Principal Violist/Solo Violist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra in Seattle, and as a guest artist on many prominent Northwest chamber music series, including the Olympic Music Festival, Chamber Music San Juans and the Second City Chamber
Music Series. She is also a champion of contemporary music and has premiered many new solo and chamber works. Leslie’s CD recording of the Six Bach Suites was released in 2013, and she continues to tour performing memorized programs of the consecutive six suites.
In addition to teaching privately, Leslie has taught at Eastern Washington University, where she was Assistant Professor of Violin/Viola and a member of the Spokane String Quartet. Leslie currently coaches two of the Seattle Youth Symphony viola sections, and is summer faculty for Marrowstone-in-the-City and the Birch Bay String Teachers’ Workshop.