Stuart Johnson moved from violin to viola following his undergraduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. After freelancing overseas on both instruments, he returned to Australia and began freelancing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a violist. Soon after, he was awarded a place in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship program and also appeared as a James Fairfax Young Artist. In 2003 he was offered a place at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.
As a violist, Stuart Johnson has performed numerous times with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra, featured as a soloist with Orchestra Victoria, and appeared as guest principal with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He was also a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra viola section permanently in 2009. In addition, he often performs as a chamber musician and has appeared in a number of broadcasts for ABC Classic FM.
Stuart Johnson has taught at the University of Melbourne and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts junior school. He is also sought after as a teacher, orchestral tutor and mentor with the Australian Youth Orchestra, and he currently teaches viola at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Conservatorium High School and Rising Stars program.