Bobae Johnson is a 16-year-old junior at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, making her solo début with the MusicaNova Orchestra after two outstanding appearances in MusicaNova’s Young Artists Series concerts. She’s played violin for eight years and currently studies with Dr. Jonathan Swartz at Arizona State University.
She is currently the principal second violinist of the Phoenix Youth Symphony, which she joined in 2011, and will become concertmaster in early 2016. Earlier this year was concertmaster of the North-Central Region and Arizona Music Educators Association high school All-State Orchestra.
Among her competition successes, Bobae won the junior divisions of both the American String Teachers Association state solo competition and the Phoenix Youth Symphony Upper Strings concerto competition in 2012. She then returned to win the senior division in both competitions in 2014 and 2015 respectively. In addition, she was the strings winner of the 2014 Arizona Music Educators Association All-State Solo & Ensemble competition, for which she received an invitation to perform at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium at the All-State Festival. She was invited to perform at the Musical Instrument Museum as part of the 2015 Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians concert series.
Early in 2015 Bobae was the first violinist to win the Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, resulting in a three-concert appearance with the orchestra in the Tucson area.
Summer studies have recently taken Bobae to the Innsbrook Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Madeline Island Music Camp, and Le Festival International du Domaine Forget. There she worked in masterclasses with violin virtuosos including Rachel Barton Pine, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Patrice Fontanarosa, and the Emerson String Quartet. In Phoenix she has been in masterclasses with Frank Huang, Steven Moeckel, and the Shanghai String Quartet.
Bobae is the president of the Desert Vista Peer Tutoring Organization, and co-president of Melodic Minors, a charitable music outreach group. She volunteers as a strings teacher with Harmony Project Phoenix, a MusicaNova education partner, where she gives music lessons to underserved children in the Valley. She intends to pursue a double major in college in math or physics and violin performance, and recently attended Phoenix Comicon as Frodo, the most renowned ring-bearer from Lord of the Rings.