David Wilson-Johnson was born in Northampton. He studied Modern Languages in Cambridge and singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he won many prizes. In his early years he sang in choirs such as the BBC Singers and the Monteverdi Choir.
The British baritone made his operatic debut at Covent Garden in Henze's We Come to the River in 1976 and sang regularly there over twenty-one years in a wide range of operas including Britten’s Billy Budd, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Puccini’s Turandot and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Cosí fan tutte.
Over a career spanning forty years, he has been a guest of the major opera houses and orchestras and festivals worldwide.
In 2006 he decided to retire from the operatic stage.
David Wilson-Johnson is known for such memorable concert performances as Haydn’s Creation (educational projects in Amsterdam and Paris) with Frans Brüggen and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Last Night of the Proms in 2001 after the events of 9/11 to a worldwide audience of 340 million. His debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra was in 1989 with Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges.
David Wilson-Johnson teaches in Amsterdam and London and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.