Deborah Ann Johnston has studied with a number of prominent cellists, including Colin Hampton, of the Griller Quartet, William Pleeth of the Allegri Quartet, and acclaimed soloists Zara Nelsova and Paul Tortelier. She graduated with an AGSM degree in Performance and Teaching from the Guildhall School of Music in London. Under the professional managment of Wilfred Van Wyke, she appeared as a recitalist in London’s Wigmore Hall and Leighton House, and won solo recital competitions, to critical acclaim. She has served as Guest Principal Cello with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sub-Principal at Sadlers/Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra, and has performed as a freelance musician with numerous British orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, West End Musicals, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Ballet Rambert, BBC Radio Orchestra and several chamber orchestras. During the last 20 years of her London career, she was a member of the English National Opera Orchestra.
Concurrently with her career as a free lance musician in London, Deb taught individual cello lessons for the Inner London Education Authority Centre for Young Musicians, where she also coached chamber ensembles and cello sectionals for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. She taught cello students through the London Schools in the counties of Surrey and Essex, through summer school in Aberdeen, Scotland, and also taught children and adults on a private basis. Most of her original students have long since joined the ranks of successful and full-time professional musicians in the U.K.
Deb is an avid hiker and solo backpacker. Between backpacking trips, she strives to keep fit by running and gym attendance. When her teaching schedule allows, she composes and arranges music for cellos and other instruments, and writes poetry. Her only daughter, Stephanie, has an Honours Degree in Marine Biology from Southampton University and is now teaching biology at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, New York.
Since coming to Bend, Deb has offered private cello lessons, chamber music coaching, and seminars on the art of practicing. She is also available on a limited basis for performances, master classes and educational projects, whether in Oregon or further afield.