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Jeri Lynne Johnson

Founder, Artistic Director, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

Jeri Lynne Johnson is the Founding Artistic Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. Maestra Johnson began conducting during her doctoral studies in music theory and history at the University of Chicago. While a student in Chicago, Ms. Johnson was awarded the 1998 Jorge Mester Conducting Scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival and since then her conducting teachers and mentors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop and Daniel Barenboim among others. Soon after, Ms. Johnson was engaged by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and served as that ensemble’s assistant conductor from 2000-2004.

A recipient of many civic, community and artistic honors, including a 2010 British American Project Fellow, 2010 Philly 360 Creative Ambassador by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, and a 2009 Leeway Transformation Award, Ms. Johnson has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers as well as television and radio shows including 20/20 and the “Tavis Smiley Show” on NPR and was heralded as one of today’s leading women conductors on the NBC Today Show alongside prominent woman conductors Marin Alsop and Joann Falletta. In 2005 Ms. Johnson made history as the first African-American woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship.