Born in 1997, Henry Johnston began studying guitar at the age of 6 with his father, the esteemed teacher Alan Johnston. From a very young age, Henry has enjoyed continued success in international competitions. At the age of 12, he won second place in the 2009 Guitar Foundation of America's International Guitar Competition in Ithaca, New York, competing in the junior division. In April of 2011, Henry performed at the Fitzgerald Theatre in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota as one of five winners of MN Varsity, Minnesota Public Radio's 1st annual competition for young classical singers and instrumentalists. Later that same month at the age of 14, Henry became the youngest guitarist ever to win first prize in the Schubert Club Competition in St. Paul, competing against guitarists nearly twice his age. In 2013, Henry was a prizewinner in the senior division of the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition in Louisville, Kentucky and in September of that year he appeared on NPR’s “From the Top,” broadcast from the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota. While he was in high school, Henry was the sole private student of the late classical guitarist John Holmquist.
In the fall of 2015, Henry moved to Paris to study with the French guitarist Judicaël Perroy. While living in France, he was enrolled at the Conservatoire de Musique et de Danse in Aulnay-sous-Bois. In 2016 he returned to the United States to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in classical guitar performance at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Professor Adam Holzman.
Soon thereafter in October of 2016, he won first prize in the Texas A&M International Guitar Competition. Since then, he has won prizes in numerous competitions including the Indiana Classical Guitar Competition (2017), Miami International Guitar Competition (2017), and Houston International Guitar Competition (2019), and has continued to give performances throughout the United States and Europe. In April of 2018, he was selected by the University of Texas System Board of Regents as a recipient of the Board of Regents’ Outstanding Student Award in Arts and Humanities. In November of 2019, Henry appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC.
Henry currently lives in New York City, where he is pursuing a Master’s Degree at The Juilliard School studying under Sharon Isbin. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to performing, Henry is a dedicated pedagogue who has experience teaching guitar, music theory, composition, and music history to students ranging in age from 6 to 60. He maintains an active private guitar studio. In his spare time he enjoys running, reading, and cooking. He is an avid Minnesota sports fan.
He plays a guitar made in 2012 by the French luthier Hugo Cuvilliez, on Augustine Imperial / Blue strings.