Craig Hella Johnson

Founder and Artistic Director, Conspirare Artistic Director, Vocal Arts Ensemble

Craig Hella Johnson is the founding artistic director and conductor of the Austin-based, internationally-renowned, Grammy-winning choir Conspirare. Johnson is also music director of the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble and conductor emeritus of the Victoria Bach Festival. Known for crafting thought-provoking musical journeys that create deep connections between performers and listeners, Johnson is in frequent demand as a guest conductor of choral and orchestral works.  A composer and arranger, Johnson is an editor for the Craig Hella Johnson Choral Series, featuring specially selected composers as well as some of his own original compositions and arrangements. His music is also published by Alliance Music Publications. Johnson’s first concert-length composition Considering Matthew Shepard was premiered and recorded by Conspirare for a 2016 CD release.

Johnson’s accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. Notably among them, he and Conspirare won a 2014 Grammy® for Best Choral Performance, Chorus America granted him the Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art in 2015, and the Texas State Legislature named him Texas State Musician for 2013. Johnson studied at St. Olaf College, the Juilliard School, and the University of Illinois, and earned his doctorate at Yale University.