Bio / Press kit

“Plegaria” by Guillermo Gomez, arranged by LVJ



Photo of LVJ by Larry Huntington

Photo of LVJ by Larry Huntington


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




Louis Valentine Johnson - Classical Guitarist photo

Photo by Larry Scott

International concert performances have been in Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico and Spain.

Domestic concert performances have included San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento, Minnesota and New York and others.

Radio and TV credits include classical broadcasts of KQED San Francisco, National Public Radio stations in various cities and KVMR FM Nevada City, California.

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.




Louis Valentine Johnson - Classical Guitarist photo

Photo of LVJ by Larry Scott

LVJ’s recordings were reviewed by Carlos R. Alicea, BMG Records of New York City, who wrote:

“…..rarely recorded works coupled with Louis Valentine Johnson’s great  playing.”

Ken Hardin, conductor of Orchestra Panache wrote:

“…..Louis Valentine Johnson is a polished artist. He is creative in performances and continues to bring new works to the concert stage. It has always been a pleasure collaborating on our orchestral performances with Lou.”

For additional reviews, please go to the Electronic Press Kit (EPK)








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.




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.




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.




On the Dos Almas Music label:

Guitarra Clasica I CD by Louis Valentine Johnson4. Guitarra Clasica I

Guitarra Clasica II by Louis Valentine Johnson5. Guitarra Clasica II

The Blue Hour CD by Louis Valentine Johnson6. The Blue Hour

Goodbye to Mexico CD by Louis Valentine Johnson7. Goodbye to Mexico

A Day in the Country CD by Louis Valentine Johnson8. A Day in the Country


On LVJ’s third CD, 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.”

LVJ’s fourth CD, 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.




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