Jeri Lynn Johnson

Jeri Lynne Johnson

Jeri Lynne Johnson is the founder and music director of Philadelphia's newest classical music ensemble, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra (BPCO). Based in Philadelphia, the BPCO is dedicated to creating excellence by reflecting the cultural diversity of the community in its artists onstage. In addition to leading the BPCO, Johnson is currently the cover conductor for the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. She began conducting during her doctoral studies in music theory and history at the University of Chicago. Her conducting teachers and mentors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop and Daniel Barenboim among others. While a student in Chicago, Johnson was engaged by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (COP) and was the assistant conductor from 2000-2004. Johnson was awarded the 1998 Jorge Mester Conducting Scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival. Johnson has been the recipient of many civic, community and artistic honors. Among them, a 2010 British American Project Fellow, 2010 Philly 360 Creative Ambassador, 2010 Honoree in Arts and Culture for The Power Shift and a 2009 Leeway Transformation Award. Johnson has also been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers as well as television and radio shows including "20/20" and the "Tavis Smiley Show" on NPR. She was heralded as one of today's leading women conductors on the NBC "Today Show" alongside prominent woman conductors Marin Alsop and Joann Falletta. In 2005 Johnson made history as the first African-American woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship.