Nathan R. Johnson (composer)

Hello! My name is Nathan Johnson, and welcome to my website. I a musician who compose new music.


Nathan R. Johnson (b. 1982) is a musician who composes new “classical” music. His music is inspired by the natural beauty surrounding his home in the Pacific Northwest, the ethos of folk music, and the zest for life he sees in his children.

His music has been performed the United States, Canada, Russia, Romania, Brazil, and Australia by ensembles  such by Face the Music, Piano Pinnacle, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra, the Eclipse Quartet, the Mojave TrioStrada TrioQuintessential WindsandPlay DuoDuo AnovaThe Music Box Project, the Abbotsford Youth Symphony, University of Kentucky Guitar Quartet, and by members of the Seattle and Hudson Valley symphonies. Nathan has also had music featured at the Festival Internacional de Musica Contemporanea (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the Composer's Voice Guitar Festival (New York), and at the Vox Novus Festival Romania (Constanţa).

In addition to composing, Nathan plays violin (and a few other miscellaneous instruments) and has been a member of numerous community orchestras, chamber ensembles, bands, and regularly plays at church. He is an avid student of various folk music traditions—especially the fiddle traditions of northern Europe and their offshoots in the Americas—and is an active arranger and orchestrator, specializing in music for beginning or amateur players and ensembles with unconventional instrumentation or mixed proficiency levels.

Mr. Johnson received degrees in music composition from California State University at Long Beach and Biola University, and he is a member of Broadcast Music, Inc. He lives with his wife and their young children in a small town in Washington (state), between the Olympic Mountains and the Salish Sea, where they all enjoy making music, spending time outdoors, reading great books, traveling to new places, and searching for the perfect espresso.


Brief C.V. (education, awards, selected performances, et cetera.)

  • Education:

    • California State University at Long Beach (Long Beach, California). Master of Music, Music Composition. Principal composition teachers: Dr. Carolyn Bremer, Dr. Robin Cox, Dr. Adriana Verdie. Awards: 2010 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Creative Activity; 2009 Provost’s Summer Stipend for Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity ("New Music and Youth Orchestras"); 2008 Paul C. Lindsey III Memorial Scholarship for Composition. 4.0 GPA

    • Biola University (La Mirada, California). Bachelor of Music, Music Theory and Composition, magna cum laude. Principal composition teachers: Christopher Wills, Neil Argo, Dr. John Curtis Browning; Violin teachers: Ji Young Um, Mary Beth Woodruff. Awards: 2006-2007 Musician of the Year

    • Other teachers: Hummie Mann (film music), Denny Gore (composition, theory), Dianne Johnston (piano, theory), Blanche Wynne (violin)

  • Other Awards:

    • Washington State Music Teachers Association Young Composer’s Competition, 2001: First place, collegiate division (A Summer’s Evening)

  • Affiliations:

    • Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI). Member, 2009-present.

  • Selected Performances

    • Northern Light performed by Piano Pinnacle (New York City)

    • Sound Waves 2b performed by organist David Bohm (Appleton, WI)

    • Sound Waves 3 performed by the University of Kentucky Guitar Quartet (New York City)

    • Bouncing off Walls performed by Face the Music (New York City)

    • in 4 performed by The Music Box Project (Sydney, Australia)

    • Hratt performed by violinist Daniel Mihai at the Vox Novus Festival Romania (Constanta, Romania)

    • Hratt performed by violinist Eva Ingolf at the Festival Internacional de Musica Contemporanea (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

    • Struwwelpeter performed by the Pone Ensemble for New Music (New Platz, NY)

    • Hratt performed by violinist Eva Ingolf (New York City)

    • Zoom performed by andPlay Duo (New York City)

    • Turn a Page performed by Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby (Seattle Symphony) and King’s High School chamber orchestra (Seattle, WA)

    • A Tall Tale performed by Northwest Symphony Orchestra (Seattle, WA)

    • Frenetic Energy, Starry Night, and Overture to an Exciting Occasion performed by the Bremerton Symphony (Bremerton, WA)

    • River performed by the Mojave Trio (Long Beach, CA)

    • Summer Hill performed by the Abbotsford Youth Symphony (Abbotsford, BC)

    • Frenetic Energy performed by the Eclipse Quartet (Long Beach, CA)

    • Calling performed by the Quintessential Winds at the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA)

    • Sinfonia in g minor performed by I Artisti Youth Chamber Orchestra (La Mirada, CA)

    • Summer Hill performed by the Strada Trio and I Artisti Youth Chamber Orchestra

    • A Pilgrim's Progress performed by the Biola Symphony Orchestra (La Mirada, CA)

    • A Tall Tale performed by the Abbotsford Youth Symphony

    • A Tall Tale performed by the Biola Symphony Orchestra (two performances)

    • A Tall Tale performed by the Biola Youth String Orchestra

  • Former member (violinist, violist) of:

    • Bremerton Symphony Orchestra

    • Penninsula Ballet Orchestra

    • Kitsap Opera Orchestra

    • Biola Symphony Orchestra

    • Tacoma Youth Symphony

    • Kitsap Youth Orchestra