Born 1963, Johanna Varner studied cello at the Munich Musikhochschule with Professor Kiskalt. In 1984 she won, with the Cudek-quartett, the second price in the stringquartet contest in Bubenreuth. Later she studied at the David Oistrach Akademie Ingolstatt with Eldar Issakadre and followed a mastercourse with the Alban Berg quartet.

Since 1986 Johanna Varner is dedicated to improvised music. She is founding member of the International Composers and Improvisers Ensemble Munich (the ICI). She started the concertseries "international meetings" in Munich, granted by the Deutschen Musikrat. She performed with a great variety of musicians, among them F.M. Einheit (from the band Einstürzende Neubauten), Ulrike Haage, Terry Ex, Phil Minton, Mary Crispell, George Lewis, Barry Guy and Markus Stockhausen.
She founded with Dutch drummer Han Bennink the Ammü Quartett, and plays with violin and viola player Mary Oliver in the JOMO-duo. JOMO was granted by the "Initiative Musik". Thanks to a grant from the city of München Johanna Varner stayed for a period in Amsterdam to work with members of the ICP orchestra.

In 2010 she formed a duo with Dutch guitarplayer Dick Toering. In this duo a new approach in im provising is developed, based on classical and minimal music, and world music. With Dick Toering and double bass player Meinrad Kneer Johanna Varner plays as 'Klangwelt Station'. This trio recorded an album in 2014 (to be released). As a classical cellist she played in orchestras under Leonard Bernstein and C. Poppen. In 2000 she founded the ensemble Laurier for contemporary music. She plays on many recordings; CDs with Olga Neuwirth and William Parker were recorded by Bayerischer Rundfunk and released on NEOS. In 2011 she made het first solo-CD, with instant composing and intriguing soundscapes, exporing the possibillities of the cello at full length.
Multi talented, Johanna Varner leads her own music publishing company and works as cello teacher, writer and illustrator.

Johanna Varner cello improvising composing ensembles lessons