Mary Grace Johnson

Violin, Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education Teacher

Mary Grace Johnson

SAA Member


Houston, TX
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Violinist Mary Grace Johnson has captivated audiences in diverse venues from Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado as both a soloist and a chamber musician. She is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School, where she received her Master of Music under the tutelage of Laurie Smukler.

Mary Grace made her solo debut at age 17 with the Nashville Symphony as Grand Prize winner of the CURB Records concerto competition. She has also soloed with the Vanderbilt Symphony Orchestra and the Curb Youth Symphony, and was a quarterfinalist in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. In 2017, she won first prize at the national level of the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist String competition in Baltimore, Maryland after winning the division and state competitions. 

An avid orchestral musician, Mary Grace has served as concertmaster of the Vanderbilt University Orchestra and the Curb Youth Symphony and recently served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra under conductors Sir Mark Elder and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. An experienced professional orchestral musician, she has frequently played with Nashville Symphony, Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and Bryan Symphony, in addition to her session work in Nashville recording studios. 

Mary Grace believes an important part of being an artist is training the next generation of arts appreciators. Having taught violin since the ninth grade, she received her Suzuki Training at Vanderbilt University with Carol Smith. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, she has also coached chamber music groups in Vanderbilt’s pre-college program and at Kneisel Hall’s Maine Students Program. A fervent believer in bringing the joy of music to those who would otherwise not have access, Mary Grace volunteer taught at the W.O. Smith Community Music School in Nashville and was a Juilliard Morse Fellow, teaching violin, viola and cello at City College Academy of the Arts in Manhattan to students from diverse backgrounds as part of her fellowship.

Mary Grace received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, where she received the Founder’s Medal, the highest honor in her graduating class. In addition to the violin, Mary Grace has studied the viola with Kathryn Plummer and the baroque violin with Allison Nyquist and Cynthia Roberts. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Paul Kantor.