Guy Johnston (19 March)
One of the most illustrious of the younger generation of British cellists, Guy Johnston won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2000. Born to a musical family (his parents run Musicale, a music school and instrument retailer in Harpenden), his brothers Magnus and Rupert are respectively a violinist and horn player. His sister, Britanny, was a member of the electronic string quartet, Escala, and is married to Harry Judd, the drummer of the band McFly. All three brothers were choristers at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, and were educated at its affiliated school. Guy’s musical education continued at Manchester’s Chetham’s School, where Steven Doane was his cello teacher, and at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
New music has featured prominently both in his concert life and on record, including a Gramophone Award-winning disc for Chandos of David Matthews’ Concierto in Azzurro, works for cello and piano by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Charlotte Bray’s Cello Concerto, Falling in the Fire. Works by Bray, David Matthews, Ola Gjeilo, Respighi, Barrière (a duo for two cellos with the 2016 Young Musician of the Year winner, Sheku Kanneh-Mason) and Beethoven (the latter’s Piano Trio in D, The Ghost, with his brother Magnus and the pianist Tom Poster) also feature on a new recording for the King’s College CD label, made in conjunction with Guy’s European odyssey, from Cambridge and London to Rome, celebrating his fine 1714 cello made by David Tecchler.
Guy Johnston is also involved in charity work with his siblings on behalf of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, work which began in the wake of his brother Rupert’s injury in a car accident soon after his student years.