Bio / Press kit

 

“Plegaria” by Guillermo Gomez, arranged by LVJ

 

” Louis Valentine Johnson is an accomplished and versatile solo guitarist with an established reputation for concerto and concert performances of the highest calibre.” ~ Pam Remijio, Dos Almas Music

 

Photo of LVJ by Larry Huntington

Photo of LVJ by Larry Huntington

“Live strong with music in your soul.” ~LVJ

PERFORMANCES

International performances include San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Norway, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Banff, Canada, Quito Ecuador, Santiago Chile, and Argentina.

Radio and television credits include numerous Classical Broadcasts, including KQED in San Francisco, KWSP in Nevada City, KWSP in Santa Cruz, and other NPR stations.

Conductor Ken Hardin and LVJ have worked together on orchestral performances over the years. Hardin took a sabbatical retreat to the Grand Canyon where he orchestrated Fernando Sor’s guitar duet “Souvenir of Russia.” Hardin conducted and premiered this work with LVJ as the featured guitar soloist with Orchestra Panache.

LVJ performed guitar concerts and served on the planning committees of the inaugural season of Music in the Mountains. LVJ also served as a board member for the Twin Cities Concert Association, now called InConcert Sierra.

LVJ has toured and performed with Alexander L. Johnson, Jose Luis Merlin, the Reverend Dr. Thomas L. Purce, Enrique and Yolanda Coria, Ivan Najera and poet and Neruda translator, William O’Daly.

San Francisco State University

Seattle Space Needle Concerts

Idaho State University Program Board

Old First Center for the Arts — San Francisco

Boise State University

Village Early Music Society

University of San Francisco Concerts

Tahoe Historical Society

California Cultural Center — San Francisco

Hospice of the Foothills

Sierra Musical Arts Association

Music in the Mountains

Nevada County Historical Society

Nevada County Artist’s Guild

California Litman Series

South Lake Tahoe Community College

Twin Cities Concert Association

Classical Guitar Society of Portland

San Francisco Classical Guitar Society

Julia Davis Gallery Concerts — Boise

Guitar Extravaganza Concerts

Soroptomist International

City College of San Francisco

Tahoe Preservation Society

St. Joseph’s Cultural Center Concerts

KVMR – FM Featured Artist Series

Humboldt State University Concert Series

Borders, Books & Music Artists Series

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Old Town Eureka Concert Series

Quito — Ecuador — Exchange Series

Evergreen College — Olympia, WA

Sons of Norway — San Diego — Minneapolis

Sacramento State University

Banff School of Fine Arts — Canada

Orchestre Panache — Chamber Orchestra

REVIEWS

“… rarely recorded works coupled with Louis Valentine Johnson’s great playing …” Carlos R. Alicea, BMC Records, New York City

 

“He succeeds beautifully. Johnson is a fine technician, articulating notes with clarity and warmth. His playing is dignified without seeming staid.. subtly

passionate…this recording’s quiet delicate beauty is its own reward.” Paul Harrar, The Union, Grass Valley, California

 

“I have listened to Louis Valentine’s Guitarra Classica I Album and it is very good! I keep this CD beside my

stereo at home.” William Glackin, Classical Music Critic, The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California

 

“This remarkable collection of mostly 16th Century Spanish Guitar music is performed with astonishing grace and restraint….Johnson’s playing is superb –

delightfully clear and tasteful – throughout this first in a series devoted to the history of music for the classical guitar.” Richard Dunk, KVMR — FM Program Guide, Sacramento, California

Louis Valentine Johnson - Classical Guitarist photo

Photo of LVJ by Larry Scott

 

COMPOSITIONS

Louis Valentine Johnson has recently completed a composition titled “The Peace Concerto”. This work originally written for solo guitar, has also been orchestrated and arranged with additional instrumentations by LVJ and colleagues. The additional arrangements are for guitar and viola, guitar and clarinet, guitar and piano, guitar and string quartet.   A guitar and symphony orchestra version is currently in progress.

Louis Valentine Johnson has also arranged “Twelve Moments” from “The Peace Concerto” for solo guitar.

For more information on additional LVJ works, please go to the Compositions page of this website.

 

 

EDUCATION

Photo of LVJ by Larry Scott

Photo of LVJ by Larry Huntington

Blackfoot High School, Blackfoot, Idaho.

Idaho State University, Bachelor of Arts Journalism.

Idaho State University, Bachelor of Music Guitar Performance.

LVJ was the first guitarist to graduate from the Idaho State University School of Fine Arts Music Department. He later became a faculty member and founded the study of Classical Guitar as a standard curriculum at the University in Pocatello, Idaho.

San Francisco State University, Master of Arts Guitar Performance, Honors Graduate.

LVJ and Conductor Kent Nagano were honored together by San Francisco State University as “Distinguished Alumni.”

LVJ later began a career as an Insurance Executive for over 20 years. This business activity earned LVJ the title from fellow musicians as “The Charles Ives of the Guitar.”

LVJ is a Vietnam Veteran of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division.  He served in the 502nd  Infantry (Rifleman) and the 321st Artillery Battalion, 105 mm Howitzers receiving an Honorable Discharge.

 

 

MASTER CLASS STUDIES

Narciso Yepes – San Francisco State University.

Christopher Parkening – The Sun Valley, Idaho Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Able Carlevaro – San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Julian Bream – San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Alirio Diaz – The Banff School of Fine Arts, Alberta, Canada.

 

RECORDINGS

   
On the Dos Almas Music label:

 

1. 21 Years

 

2. One

3. Malaguena California

Goodbye to Mexico CD by Louis Valentine Johnson

4. Goodbye to Mexico

5. The Blue Hour

 

 The Blue Hour, and in concerts, he has premiered a piece dedicated to him by New York composer, author and musicologist, Mark A. Radice.

Richard Middleton of the Victory Review, Seattle, WA wrote of the Blue Hour:

“…..Johnson is a skilled and sensitive interpreter not only of pieces by venerable masters…but also by contemporary composers such as Jose Luis Merlin and Mark Radice….. a beautiful album.”

Goodbye to Mexico, received funding from Meet the Composer, Inc., and was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, and the Virgil Thompson Foundation when it was released October 20, 2002. This recording features LVJ’s solo guitar compositions in American Reflections. Goodbye to Mexico memorializes Mexican and American citizens who have died at the Arizona-California-Mexico borders. Children Dancing is dedicated to children. Walking the Yuba River is a tribute to the peace and beauty of nature. LVJ’s composition September Eleventh, speaks to the families and tragedies of Manhattan,Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

 

 

FILMS AND VIDEOS

View LVJ’s Youtube Channel  and check out LVJ’s videos on this site.

 

 

LVJ plays and records with a Jose Oribe “Gran Suprema” guitar and lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California.

 

Louis Valentine Johnson - Classical Guitarist photo

Photo of LVJ by Larry Scott