Grant Johannesen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 30, 1921. He worked with Robert Casadesus from 1941 to 1946. Later, he went to Cornell University and studied under Egon Petri. A highly regarded American pianist, Johannesen toured and recorded frequently. His 1965 concerts in the Soviet Union, as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, earned him considerable acclaim. For many years, he served as director of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Johannesen's wide repertoire included works of all major composers, but an important specialty was Gabriel Fauré, whose complete piano output he recorded in the early 1960s. Johannesen died in Berlin in 2005.