This spring, sophomore Evan Johanson turned heads as a winner in the annual Seattle Young Artists Music Festival. Johanson has been playing the violin since age five, and attributes his passion for the instrument to the musical culture he was raised in. “I have an older sister who plays cello, and both my parents are musicians,” said Johanson. “Since I was born, I’ve always heard music from [my sister], so I got started from that and then I went and played the violin.”
Johanson’s level of skill at such a young age would mark him as a prodigy to some, but he became Roosevelt’s first chair violinist through hard work and immense dedication. “I practice about two hours a day,” said Johanson, clarifying this time as “individual practice.” In addition, Johanson will have “some sort of lesson, like youth symphony or chamber music.”
Since he was seven years old, Johanson has been in a variety of youth symphony orchestras. He’s particularly enjoyed his time in the Roosevelt orchestra. “The Roosevelt music program is great. Anna Edwards, the conductor, is fantastic. The students are really into it and it’s super fun,” said Johanson. “[Johanson] has just been a wonderful student,” said Anna Edwards. “It’s been fun for me because I’ve been able to know him since he was about five, so I’ve seen him grow up. He’ll continue playing beautiful music, and he’ll just do a great job. I’m super proud of him,” continued Edwards.
In regards to what keeps Johanson motivated through the long hours of practice, he simply stated, “I can’t imagine life without music. I think about it all the time, and it’s always running through my head. It expresses what words can’t.”
Johanson’s next musical endeavor is already in motion: “I’m also a finalist for KING FM’s Young Artist Awards, so you can go online and watch my performance.” Help Johanson win by voting for Entrant #1 right here. You can see his performance below.
Featured Photo: Evan Johanson performing on the violin in rehearsal. Photo by AJ Utke.