Organist - Amy Johansen

Ms Amy Johansen

Amy Johansen was appointed Sydney University Organist in 1998. Her duties include performing at over sixty graduations and ceremonies annually in the University's splendid Great Hall, as well as overseeing and performing in the organ recital series. She is also an Honorary Carillonist at the University.

Born and educated in the United States, Ms Johansen earned the Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Certificate in Organ at the University of Florida. She then obtained her Masters Degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Postgraduate study took her to London where she studied with Thomas Trotter, and Paris where she studied with Naji Hakim. Although her repertoire encompasses all periods of music, it was her first CD, The Embrace of Fire, devoted to the organ music of Naji Hakim, which initially brought her international acclaim. She has performed recitals in England, France, Norway, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

In July 2000, she organized the BACHATHLON: a performance of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach by 26 Sydney organists on the Great Hall organ at Sydney University.

In August 2000 she performed the organ part in Mahler's Symphony Nr. 8 - Symphony of a Thousand - in the Opening Concert of the Olympic Arts Festival, playing on the Sydney Town Hall organ while all of the other musicians were 16 kilometres away at the Homebush Superdome.

Ms Johansen has performed often as soloist and accompanist with Australian and foreign ensembles including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Sydney Philharmonia Choir, Sydney Chamber Choir and the Scottish National Orchestra Choir, with her performances broadcast on American Public Radio's Pipedreams, the ABC, and the BBC. Her recordings are available on the Move, Newington and Pro Organo labels. One of the CDs recorded by Move at Sydney University, showcases both the Great Hall organ and the University carillon (played by University Carillonist Jill Forrest), including two tracks in which the two instruments are combined, thanks to the wonders of clever technology. A solo organ CD, also recorded at the Great Hall, was released last year.

Performances in the past year have included organ recitals in Melbourne and Christchurch (NZ) Town Halls, as well as carillon recitals in the USA at the International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois, and the University of Florida.

Ms Johansen is married to Sydney City Organist Robert Ampt, and together they have have developed two specialities - the playing of organ duets, and the presentation of children's 'Introduction to the Organ' programs. Their duet playing has included performances at the Town Halls of Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Dunedin (NZ), as well as on the great organs at Methuen and San Diego's Balboa Park, both in the USA. Last year they appeared as the finale of the gala concerts celebrating the 25th birthday of the magnificent Ronald Sharp organ of the Sydney Opera House.