Winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition in 2019 and defined as the "Classical Guitar Revelation 2017" by the french magazine "Guitar Classique", Johan Smith has been invited to perform in renowned festivals, as concert and soloist, with orchestras such as the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival Orchestra. He released his new album with Naxos in 2020, and is currently preparing for a tour that will see him perform in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and at Carnegie Hall in New York.
His particular interest in contemporary music has led him to collaborate with several composers, including Josquin Schwizgebel and Arnaud Fillion who dedicated him his "Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra".
Born in 1990 in Geneva, Johan started the guitar with teacher Marie-Claire Pignolo and obtained a Bachelor in 2015, then a "Master of Arts in Instrumental Pedagogy" in 2017 at the University of Music of Lausanne, in the class of the Brazilian guitarist Dagoberto Linhares. In addition to his activity as a guitar teacher at the Conservatory of Morges (COV), he also obtained in 2019 the most important academic title in the field of musical performance in Switzerland : the "Master of Arts specializing in Music Performance Soloist", awarded by the highest grade and the Special Prize Max D. Jost.
In a completely different approach, he is the founder, composer, performer and graphic designer in the extreme metal band "Stortregn", with whom he has already recorded four albums and toured the world since 2005.
« Johan Smith is clearly a guitarist to follow, one with [a] compelling sense of touch and musicality. »
Gramophone, Editor's Choice (Sept. 2020)
« As one listens to Johan Smith play, it’s manifestly obvious why he won the 2019 GFAC. Here is a
tremendously gifted guitarist and musical artist, and his Naxos album compels hearing by all guitar
Fanfares Magazine (Oct. 2020)
1st prize at the VIII° Changsha International Guitar Competition (CHN)
1st prize at the XXXVII° Guitar Foundation of America (USA), "Rose Augustine Grand Prize"
1st prize at the VI° International Guitar Competition of Thessaloniki (GR)
1st prize at the International Competition of Fontenay-Sous-Bois (FR)
1st prize at the II° International Competition "Révélation Guitar Classique" (FR)
1st prize at the 89° Leopold Bellan International Competition (FR)
1st prize at the XIII° National Guitar Competition of Ceyzeriat (FR)
Special Prize as the best interpretation of Joaquin Rodrigo´s work at the VIII° Changsha International Guitar Competition (CHN)
Special Audience Prize at the XIII° Guitar Competition of Ceyzeriat (FR)
Special Prize Max D. Jost (CH) 2019
3rd prize at the III° Pleven International Guitar Competition (BUL)
3rd prize at the I° Aalborg International Guitar Competition. (DK)