E. Southern, ed.: Readings in Black American Music (New York, 1971, rev. 2/1983)
A.R. LaBrew: Francis Johnson (1792–1844) (Detroit, 1977)
E. Southern: ‘Frank Johnson and his Promenade Concerts’, BPiM, v (1977), 3
‘Black Music Precursors: the Writings of Arthur Randolph LaBrew’, Inter-American Music Review, i/2 (1979), 229
Johnson, Graham (Rhodes)
(bBulawayo, 10 July 1950). British pianist and writer of Rhodesian birth. He studied at the RAM with Harry Isaacs and John Streets, specializing in accompaniment and working subsequently with Gerald Moore, Geoffrey Parsons, Bernac and Britten. He made his début at the Wigmore Hall, London, in 1972 and in the same year played for Peter Pears’s masterclasses at Snape. Tours in Europe with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and in the USA with Victoria de los Angeles brought him to international notice, but already, with the foundation in 1976 of the Songmakers’ Almanac, he had established the style and line of interest that were to characterize the special achievements of his career. The Almanac, consisting originally of four singers with Johnson as organizer and accompanist, produced programmes of unusual interest, both in freshness of material and ingenuity of construction. He also developed a close relationship with the Hyperion record company, for whom he has compiled a complete Schubert song edition, begun in 1987, with a large range of carefully chosen singers and distinguished both by his discerning accompaniments and his introductions to each volume, which go far beyond the scope of most CD booklet notes. In these, and in his recorded editions of Schumann and French song, he has made a major contribution to scholarship. He was made an OBE in 1994.