Derek Johnson

Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition

MU 213   Phone: 765-285-5432  

School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Derek Johnson is a composer, electric guitarist and educator active in the world of contemporary concert music and beyond. Born and raised at the majestic base of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado, Derek began his college training as an electric guitarist at Columbia College Chicago and completed graduate degrees (DM/MM) in composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is a founding member of the virtuoso chamber ensemble BASILICA and a frequent collaborator with singer/songwriter Christian Taylor.  Johnson has performed internationally with the powerhouse new music ensemble the Bang On A Can All-Stars in collaboration with guest artists Iva Bittova, Tyondai Braxton, Don Byron, Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner (The National), Bill Frisell, Phillip Glass, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Steve Reich, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Nick Zammuto (The Books).  Deeply engaged in the emerging position of the electric guitar in concert music, Derek is an active as a both a soloist and chamber musician presenting the rich and steadily growing canon of works written specifically for the electric guitar. His compositions been performed throughout the United States and Canada by leading soloists and ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW and Montreal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.  He has served as a faculty member in the music department of Columbia College Chicago, as an associate instructor of composition at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, and as chamber music faculty at the Bang On A Can Summer Institute. He is currently an assistant professor of music theory and composition at the Ball State University School of Music, and is the director of the BSU Electric Guitar Quartet / Ensemble AMP.  Derek is an avid transcriber and is currently working in collaboration with the innovative Swedish band Meshuggah on a series of transcription books and an inter-active software application encompassing the band’s complete discography.