Celeste Johnson

Celeste Johnson
Associate Professor of Oboe

Contact Info
110 Grant Hall


Celeste Johnson is currently Associate Professor of Oboe at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, and active as a performer, pedagogue, clinician and presenter.  Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and pedagogue, Celeste balances an active performing career with a passion for teaching the next generation of oboists and musicians. 

Celeste maintains an active performance calendar within the region, country and abroad.  A regular substitute with the Kansas City Symphony, she also performs with Summerfest, a chamber music festival based in Kansas City.  Celeste has performed as a featured soloist with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, of which she was a member for eleven seasons.  While a member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, she was featured as English horn soloist on Sibelius’ Swan of Tuonela and Copland’s Quiet City.  Her recent recording, entitled KaleidosCoping, features 21st century compositions for flute, oboe and piano.  KaleidosCoping was released in 2019 on the Equilibrium label.  Her second album, Wider Than the Sky, features compositions by women composers and is scheduled to be released in 2021.  As a performer, Celeste has presented concerts in Japan, Colombia, Switzerland, the Isle of Man (British Isles), Canada and across the United States

Professor Johnson has performed in orchestras, festivals and as a soloist at national and international venues.  She performed as Principal Oboe with the New York String Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, Russian String Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Tulsa Opera Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic and Quad Cities Symphony.  She has worked with oboists across the globe as the recipient of fellowships to a number of music festivals and programs.  She has received fellowships to attend the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, and Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland.  She has also performed at the Sarasota Music Festival, Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Pine Mountain Music Festival, and at the Banff Centre masterclasses in Alberta, Canada.  A two-time prize-winner in the Gillet/Fox International Oboe Competition, Celeste was also a prize-winner in the Barbirolli International Oboe competition and won the University of Illinois Concerto Competition. 

As a teacher, Celeste has taught for various camps, festivals and at universities across the country.  She has served as a faculty member at the Bay View Music Festival and the Filarmonica Joven de Colombia in South America.  Celeste has taught numerous masterclasses at high schools and universities across the country, in addition to hosting and teaching at a variety of camps for high school and collegiate oboists.  Prior to moving to Kansas City, she taught at Oklahoma State University, the University of Kansas and Roberts Wesleyan College.

Celeste maintains active memberships in professional organizations, and as such has presented at the International Double Reed Society, Midwest Double Reed Society as well as the Texas and Oklahoma Music Educators Association conferences.  She has recently been named chair of the Norma Hooks Young Artist Competition, hosted by the International Double Reed Society bi-annually.  She has presented double reed clinics at the Texas and Oklahoma Music Educators Association conferences, presenting on the topic of double reed fundamentals and pedagogy for K-12 teachers, directors and performers.  

Ms. Johnson holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Her primary teachers include Richard Killmer, Nancy Ambrose King, Dan Stolper and Phil Koch.