Sasha Johnson began his musical training at age 16, studying brass chamber music and tuba with Sam Pilafian at the Empire Brass Seminar of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He went on to study at the University of Toronto, the Manhattan School of Music and was the first Canadian tuba player to complete the Orchester-Akademie of the Berlin Philharmonic. His principal private teachers have included Mark Tetreault, Richard Erb, Arnold Jacobs, Mel Culbertson and Alan Baer.
Having begun his professional career in Berlin, Sasha went on to perform with many other European orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin State Opera, Radio Orchestra Berlin, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Modern, and the Orchestre National Bordeaux. He has performed in such music festivals and concert venues as the Lucerne Festival, Festival d’Aix en Provence, Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus, Theatre Champs-Elysées, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Salzburg Festival, and BBC Proms, under such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Kent Nagano, Essa-Pekka Salonen, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, and Seiji Ozawa.
Sasha returned to Canada in 2001 and has established himself as a prominent performer and pedagogue. He performs regularly with many Canadian orchestras and ensembles, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In January 2009, Sasha became principal tuba of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. He is the instructor of tuba at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School and an instructor of low brass and chamber music at McGill University.