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First Violin

Carmen Johnson Pájaro photo.jpg

Violinist Carmen Lavada Johnson-Pájaro is a NYC-based native of Birmingham, Alabama. Raised in a family of music lovers, Carmen began her musical studies with living room jam sessions, and eventually found her way to the world of historical performance. Recent engagements include performances with Teatro Nuovo, New York Baroque Incorporated, Valley of the Moon Music Festival, Washington National Cathedral, Early Music Access Project, and Juilliard415. She’s worked with early music luminaries Masaaki Suzuki, William Christie, Reggie Mobley, Rachel Podger, and many others.


Carmen’s 2022/23 season includes performances with Twelfth Night, House of Time, Bach Akademie Charlotte, Washington Bach Consort, Repast Baroque, The Sebastians, and more. Beyond traditional performing, Carmen’s commitment to community engagement and education led to years of administrative nonprofit work, as well as interactive performance in schools, shelters, hospitals, and detention centers across the world. Carmen is a leader in Juilliard’s Gluck Fellowship Program, through which she performs in various community-based settings across NYC with her group, Open Source Baroque. She holds degrees in violin performance from the New England Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, where she was a Lois Rogers and Links Scholar, and a Master’s degree in Historical Performance from The Juilliard School. 

Carmen Lavada Johnson-Pájaro

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