photo: Reneta Design & Photography

Fergus Johnston (b. 1959) is an Irish-born composer. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honors degree in Music in 1982. In 1999 he completed a Master’s degree in Music and Media Technology at TCD (1999), and in 2011 he received a Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. As a result of his contribution to Irish culture, he was elected to membership of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-supported artistic academy, in 1992, and was a board member of the National Concert Hall, Dublin from 1996 until 2001.

Johnston has been active as a composer since 1981, and his works have been widely performed both in Ireland and abroad. He has written for a wide variety of genres, including dance, and has collaborated on a number of successful projects involving electronic installations. 

His many works include Binn an tSíorsholais (The Peak of Eternal Light) (2004) and “Samsara” (1991) for orchestra, commissioned by RTÉ for the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Kaleidophone (1992) for string quartet, harp and percussion, commissioned by Young European Strings, Cusp (1992) for violin and piano, commissioned by Rubato Dance, Je goute le jeu (1997) for strings, commissioned by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and a flute concerto (1996) commissioned by RTÉ for the NSOI. He has also written two operas, Bitter Fruit (1992), in one act, commissioned by Opera Theatre Company, and The Earl of Kildare (2009) in three acts. 

Recent works include Emma Coulthard’s Planxty for flute and electronics, written for Emma Coulthard with funds provided by Artsada Ltd; Introduction and Boogie for piano and accordion, composed for the duo “88 Keys For Two;” and a piece for spatially arranged string octet and live electronics, titled Sinfonia (2018), also commissioned with funds provided by Artsada Ltd, and performed in the New Music Dublin Festival on Feb 28th 2020 by ConTempo String Quartet and Friends.


Legends and Light Vol. 3

Release Date: March 24, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6515
21st Century
Navona Records is proud to present LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 3, an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava. Several modern composers assemble on this album to deliver new expressions in classical music, highlighting stark contrasts of darkness and light and the other-worldy experiences that charge our artistic spirit. Inspired by art, mystical experiences, and the wonders of our universe, this edition of the LEGENDS AND LIGHT series casts a serene spotlight on the compositional innovation and orchestral ferocity of today’s composers and performers, an exhilarating showcase of the current and exciting state of classical music.