Conley Johnson Jr. is a North American pianist born April 5,1982 in Chicago Illinois. He began formal studies at the age of 3 at the
American Conservatory in Chicago. At the age of 13, under the tutelage of Edward Mondello, he came to the attention of the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra in 1995 when he undertook to play the tumultuously difficult Piano Concerto No. 1 of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He made
history at Interlochen Center for the Arts, being the youngest person ever to win the resident international concerto competition with
the Tchaikovsky concerto. The next fall, he won an opportunity to play in a high-school educational concert with the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra. Since then, he has played in major engagements with the Grant Park Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and more.
He has won many awards, including first place in the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Scholarship Competition ( Chicago, Illinois
U.S.A.), Level II from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (Miami, Florida U.S.A.), and second prize at the NANM Competition (Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A.). It is worth mention that he has participated in the Aspen Music
Festival (Aspen, Colorado U.S.A.), and that he is known as a Kapnick Scholar.
After his year attending the Peabody Institute of Music at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland) in 2000, Conley took a sabbatical from music, attending Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) majoring in neuroscience and biology. He holds a B.A. from Oberlin.
Since his graduation from Oberlin in 2004, he has returned to music with fresh new insights into his musical goal: to follow in the romantic style of Rachmaninoff, Paderewski, and Friedman, and to achieve a personal artistry on par with theirs. He now receives coaching from Michael Ruiz of the Chicago Conservatory of Music.
In October of 2014, Conley performed live on Impromptu, a weekly series broadcast on WFMT radio. Portions of his performance were included in a 2-CD thank-you gift entitled "WFMT On-Air Best of Live 2014" for their fall 2014 pledge drive.