January's Young Artist: Tabitha Johnson
By: Neapolitan Connection Staff
At age 18, pianist Tabitha Johnson has already made great strides
on the musical scene. She recently achieved 3rd place in the 17 &
Under piano category of the 2014 Canadian Music Competition,
and was named Young ORMTA Artist in 2013, which subsequently
led to a 10-city tour in Ontario, Canada. The interview below
enlightens us more about Tabitha's life as a young musician:
Q: How did music become a major part of your life?
TJ: My grandfather shared his love of music with me at a young age. At his request, I began
piano lessons with Cheryl Graham. There were times I did not think piano was something I
wanted to pursue, but growing up in such a musically enriched environment, my ideas soon
changed. I became heavily involved in piano performances, competitions and accompanying
various instruments, singers and choirs. Eventually, piano became an important part of my life
rather than a mere task or chore.
Q: What is your most memorable performance experience?
TJ: It happened when I was accompanying my school choir at a competition. I was playing on a beautiful Shigeru Kawai and noticed there was water dripping from the ceiling over the piano and me. The water was splashing on my glasses so I could not see the music
or my hands while I was playing for the choir! Fortunately, the music was somewhat memorized so I was able to continue without the audience noticing.
Q: Do you have any favorite composers?
TJ: My favorite composers change based on my mood or what scores I am studying the most. Currently my favorite composer is Dvorak because of his memorable melodies and his ability to connect with the listener.
Q: What musical projects are you currently working on?
TJ: I am preparing for auditions in the beginning of the year to study music on the post-secondary level. I am also devoting time this year to develop my technique.
Q: What are some of your musical goals for the future?
TJ: I enjoy teaching at a school and privately and would hope to one day teach at a post-secondary institution. I also enjoy performing very much and would hope to one day play in concert halls where the most brilliant classical pianists have performed.
Here's a video of Tabitha playing the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor: