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Johannesen, Grant

 Person

Biographical History

Grant Johannesen (1921-2005) was a prominant member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an American pianist and pedagogue.

Grant Johannesen was born on July 30, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He started learning the piano when he was five after being discovered to be imitating a piano teacher and playing by ear. Between the years 1941 and 1946, he studied with Robert Casadesus at Princeton University, and with Egon Petri at Cornell University. He also took courses in composition with Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger.

He made his concert debut in New York in 1944. In 1949, he won 1st prize at the Ostend Concours Internationale, which started his international career. He went on tour both as a soloist as part of an orchestra, and as an indvidual performer. He toured Europe with Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1956 and 1957, and then toured Europe with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1968. He was a frequent soloist with both the Cleveland Orchestra and Utah Symphony Orchestra. Grant Johannesen was particularly well know for his performances of American and French music, and recorded the complete piano works of Gabriel Fauré. He also composed some piano works. From 1960 to 1966 Grant Johannesen taught at the Aspen (Colorado) Music School, and in 1973 he became music consultant and adviser of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He later served as music director at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1974 to 1977, and finally as its president from 1977 to 1985. He taught at the Mannes College of Music in New York and at the Salzburg Mozaneum.

Grant Johannesen was married to the composer Helen Taylor (whose works for piano were among his recordings) from 1943 until her death in an automobile accident in 1950. He was married to his second wife, the cellist Zara Nelsova (with whom he sometimes performed), from 1963 until their divorce in 1973. From his first marriage, he had a son, David Johannesen. He died on March 27, 2005.

Citation:
Bach cantatas biography website, viewed May 13, 2011 (Grant Johannesen; prominant member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an American pianist and pedagogue; born July 30, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah; studied with Robert Casadesus at Princeton University, 1941-1946; studied with Egon Petri at Cornell University; took courses in composition with Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger; concert debut in New York in 1944; won 1st prize at the Ostend Concours Internationale, 1949; toured Europe with Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1956 and 1957; toured Europe with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1968; frequent soloist with both the Cleveland Orchestra and Utah Symphony Orchestra; well know for his performances of American and French music; recorded the complete piano works of Gabriel Fauré; composed some piano works; taught at the Aspen (Colorado) Music School, 1960-1966; music consultant and adviser of the Cleveland Institute of Music, 1973; music director at the Cleveland Institute of Music, 1974-1977; president, 1977-1985; taught at the Mannes College of Music in New York and at the Salzburg Mozaneum; married Helen Taylor. 1943-1950; married cellist Zara Nelsova, 1963 until their divorce in 1973; son from first marriage, David Johannesen; died, March 27, 2005)

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Grant Norman Johannesen autobiography

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 7939
Scope and Contents

Collection contains a draft of an autobiography by Grant Norman Johannesen entitled "Journey of an American Pianist", 2006.

Dates: 2006

Helen Taylor papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7829
Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence including between Helen and her husband, photographs, newspaper clippings for Grant Johannesen, a scrapbook of Helen's funeral services, hand written notebooks and sketches of musical scores, and digital printouts of scores , program notes, University of Utah and Julliard diploma certificates, a CD of recordings of Helen Taylor compositions, and other papers relating to Helen Taylor, 1937-2003.

Dates: 1937-2003

Additional filters:

Subject
Autobiographies 1
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.) 1
Compact discs 1
Music -- Manuscripts 1
Photographs 1
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Piano 1
Scores 1
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