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Craig Hella Johnson

Austin, TX         

CRAIG HELLA JOHNSON (Founding Artistic Director) is renowned as one of the most influential voices in choral conducting in the U.S.  A unique aspect of Johnson’s programming is his signature “collage” style:  through-composed programs that blend music and poetry, sacred and secular, classical and contemporary.  He has created and conducted collage programs for Conspirare, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and others.  Mr. Johnson is also artistic director of the Victoria Bach Festival and beginning January 2014 is music director of the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble.  He was previously artistic director of Chanticleer (1998-1999), music director of Houston Masterworks Chorus (1999-2004), and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas at Austin (1990-2001).  He is a sought-after clinician and guest conductor.  As composer and arranger, Johnson is published by the Craig Hella Johnson Schirmer Choral Series and by Alliance Music Publications.   Johnson’s accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards.  In 2015, Conspirare won the Grammy for Best Choral performance for its CD The Sacred Spirit of Russia. The Texas Legislature named him the Texas State Musician for 2013.  Other honors have included 2008 induction into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame, Chorus America’s 2009 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal, and the 2011 Citation of Merit from international professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon.  Johnson studied at St. Olaf College, the Juilliard School, and the University of Illinois, and earned his doctorate at Yale University.