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Marie Johnson, clarinet

Marie was born in Montreal and grew up in Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships. Despite her English last name she is a real French Canadian, her family having been French for 9 generations! At the age of 7 she started piano lessons and in grade 8 started clarinet so that she could join the school band. During those early formative years she was a member of various youth orchestras, including The National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

She completed a Bachelor of Music and a Master's of Music in performance at the University of Montreal. A travel grant from the Canada Arts Council allowed her to continue her studies at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany where she obtained an "Aufbaustudium Diplom", a post-graduate performance degree. Her main teachers were Robert Crowley, principal clarinetist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Dieter Klocker, a founding member or the German chamber group Consortium Classicum.

After several years in Freiburg and Dresden, she left Germany in 1995, and returned to Canada where she settled in Toronto. Since then she has been a very active performer and teacher. Marie has played with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Windsor Symphony. She spent the 2000-2001 season playing second and bass clarinet with the Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, a one year appointment. In the fall of 1998 Marie started teaching clarinet at Upper Canada College, a position she still holds. In addition she teaches privately in her home studio and especially likes to work with beginner students.

Since October 2004 Marie has played second clarinet and bass clarinet with Orchestra London. She is a member of the Clarinet Quartet "ffourtissimo" playing the bass clarinet. Occasionally she also performs at Huron County Playhouse in Grand Bend. She was a member of the orchestra for "The Secret Garden" and Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado".

Marie lives in London with her partner Jeff, his two daughters Inara and Larisa and their dog Meisha. She enjoys cooking and baking, gardening, reading English and French Literature and going to the movies.


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