Celeste Johnson

Celeste Johnson
Professor of Oboe

Contact Info
134 Grant Hall


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

Professor Johnson maintains an active performance calendar within the region, country and abroad.  She performs as a substitute with the Kansas City Symphony and with Summerfest, a chamber music series based in Kansas City.  Celeste has also performed as a member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra for eleven seasons, during which she was featured as a concerto soloist twice.  As a performer, Celeste has presented concerts in Japan, Colombia, Switzerland, the Isle of Man (British Isles), Canada and across the United States.

As a recording artist, Celeste has released two albums on the Equilibrium label.  Most recently, her album “Wider Than the Sky,” which features compositions by women composers, was released in 2022.  Her other recording released in 2019 entitled “KaleidosCoping” features 21st century compositions for flute, oboe and piano.

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.

Celeste has worked with oboists across the globe as the recipient of fellowships to numerous 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.

Professor Johnson maintains active memberships in professional organizations, and as such has presented performances at the International Double Reed Society and Midwest Double Reed Society conferences and events.  She currently serves as chair of the Norma Hooks Young Artist Competition, hosted by the International Double Reed Society bi-annually.  She has also presented at the Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma Music Educators Association conferences, presenting on the topic of double reed fundamentals and pedagogy for K-12 teachers, directors and performers.

As a teacher, Celeste has presented masterclasses, lessons and coachings for various camps, festivals and universities across the country. She co-hosts the Double Reed Institute for 8th-12th grade double reed players each summer at UMKC.  She has also served as a faculty member at the Bay View Music Festival and for the Filharmónica Joven de Colombia in South America.  Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2016, she taught at Oklahoma State University.

Celeste 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.