Photo by John Miklasz / Dharmic Light Photography
Born: July 15th
Instruments: Fiddle, Vocals, Foot Stomping
Distinguishing Marks: Green Eyes, Dimples
Career Goals: Score feature films, Compete in a sled dog race
Interesting Fact: Can recite the 50 states in alphabetical order in under 20 seconds.
Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Johanna Sö announced her intention to someday be a professional violinist at the age of three, in the matter-of-fact way that a child might announce they would like to be Super Man. After a couple years of begging for an instrument, she began classical violin lessons. Over two decades later, “playing the fiddle” became a professional pursuit when she stumbled upon a crazy bunch of Irish/Celtic Folk Rock musicians called The Town Pants.
Sö’s performance resume includes work with many acclaimed artists, including Grammy Award winning Portugal. The Man, the Grammy Nominated band Gungor, Singer-Songwriter Joy Ike, and the touring collective The Brilliance. As a solo artist, armed with her loop pedal, Sö has performed at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival, and has opened for the brass quartet The Westerlies.
Influenced by her classical training, Sö has been commended for her diverse and soulful improvisations, and for crafting melodies that produce an introspective and captivating experience.
As a classical musician, Sö has performed at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Keith Lockhart, and has shared a stage with violin prodigy Midori. Sö studied with Andres Cardenes, the former concert-master of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. After completing her degree in Violin Performance and Anthropology at Carnegie Mellon University, Sö continued her violin study with Pittsburgh Symphony violinist Lorien Hart.
With a background in Music Education K-12, and as a Suzuki trained teacher, Sö has spent over a decade teaching young musicians. While maintaining an active performance career, it is still a priority in her life to take opportunities to pass on the musical traditions that were shared with her by many wonderful mentors and teachers throughout her life.
In 2018, Sö recorded Something To Say with The Town Pants and was able to take part in the creation of an album from start to finish. Something To Say features two of Sö’s instrumental compositions: “Resilience” and “The Long Way Back”.