Conspirare and founding artistic director Craig Hella Johnson launch their third decade together by taking listeners on a musical voyage of adventure, joy, and compassion. The phrase “traveling mercies,” a benediction for safe travel, expresses both the transformative benefit of the Conspirare musical experience and the season’s expanded schedule of performances “on the road” in Houston, San Antonio, Victoria, and Fredericksburg.
The September opener and June finale feature works by J.S. Bach, the master Baroque composer whose music epitomizes transcendence. Our hugely popular “Conspirare Christmas” hosts charismatic singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster, and in January we reprise by popular demand Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, inspired by the legendary Camino pilgrimage. Path of Miracles will also be recorded for international label Harmonia Mundi. In March the Symphonic Choir performs contemporary music about the light of creation, and the season concludes in June with a five-event comPASSION festival, exploring themes of suffering and mercy through music from traditional to cutting-edge. We sing life.
Season 2013-2014 OverviewBach Plus: Elegant Craft, Ardent Expression
09.27.13 (7:30pm) St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Houston, TX. Presented by St. Luke’s
09.28.13 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
09.29.13 (3pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
J.S. Bach’s motets, gleaming pearls of elegant compositional craft, form a framework for expressive music across the centuries. Hear Der Geist Hilft and other Bach favorites, plus gems by Gustav Mahler, Steven Sametz, and young Estonian composer Pärt Uusberg.
12.06.13 (7pm) Laurel Heights United Methodist Church, San Antonio, TX
12.07.13 and 12.08.13 (both days 2:30pm & 8pm) The Carillon on Exposition, Austin, TX
12.09.13 (7:30pm) Dell Hall, Long Center, Austin, TX
Our beloved holiday concert combines many musical genres into one intensely meaningful experience. Guest singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster has “a sound that ignores demographic lines and a charisma that can ignite any audience.” Also featuring Tom Burritt on percussion.
Path of Miracles
01.24.14 (8pm) St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX
01.25.14 (7:30pm) St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Houston, TX. Presented by St. Lukes
01.26.14 (3pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
Audiences loved Conspirare’s 2012 performances of Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles and clamored for its return. Both mystical and jubilant, the work is inspired by Spain’s famous Camino pilgrimage and performed a cappella with movement and lighting. Also to be recorded for Harmonia Mundi.
03.29.14 (8pm) University Presbyterian Church, Austin, TX
Conspirare Symphonic Choir performs James Whitbourn’s intriguing Luminosity (2008), a multimedia work for choir, viola, tanpura, tam-tam, organ, and special lighting, on texts about creation’s beauty. Plus Morten Lauridsen’s popular Lux Aeterna.
Pietà by John Muehleisen
A contemporary Passion that explores hope and love as human responses to the tragedies and injustices we see every day. Pre-concert talks by the composer.
06.05.14 (7:30pm) St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Fredericksburg, TX
06.06.14 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
06.07.14 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson & Requiem by Maurice Duruflé
Interactive workshop performance of a Passion in progress, inspired by a young gay man’s senseless murder on a snow-blown night, and in response, excerpts from a beloved Requiem.
06.08.14 (8pm) St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX
A Gnostic Passion by Doug and Brad Balliett
Texas premiere of new music on ancient texts, by cutting-edge composers who happen to be twins. Presented in a workshop reading of a newly realized piano version.
06.10.14 (6pm) Free and open to the public; venue details TBA
St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach
Bach’s great sacred oratorio recounts the persecution and suffering of Jesus, with tenor Dann Coakwell in his signature role as The Evangelist and baritone Paul Max Tipton as Jesus.
06.13.14 (7:30pm) Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Dr, Victoria, TX Presented by Victoria Bach Festival
06.14.14 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
06.15.14 (3pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
Passion Dialogues: Conversations in Co-Creation
Craig Hella Johnson and Robert Kyr dialogue with Conspirare Symphonic Choir members and the public about Kyr’s Passion According to an Unknown Witness, a work in progress that Conspirare will premiere in a future season.
Free and open to the public; details TBA
Conspirare Youth Choirs
Gustav Holst’s Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, on sacred Hindu texts, combine with beautiful Christmas carols by John Rutter and Eleanor Daly to create a beautiful holiday mood.
12.13.13 (7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
12.14.13 (7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
CYC celebrates composer Benjamin Britten’s centenary, performing his Friday Afternoons Op. 7 and Missa Brevis in D, Op. 6.
05.02.14 (7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
05.03.14 (7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
Waterloo Records hosts a CD release party for Conspirare’s One Voice (Conspirare Christmas 2012) and Kevin Puts (Harmonia Mundi label). Live performances by Conspirare singers soprano Mela Sarajane Dailey and baritone Charles Wesley Evans, with Craig Hella Johnson at the keyboard. All three will be available to sign CDs purchased on site. Beverages courtesy of Shiner Beers. FREE and open to the public.
09.12.13 (5-7pm) Waterloo Records, 600A N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX.
CD Release Party, Winter
Waterloo Records hosts a CD release party for Conspirare’s The Sacred Spirit of Russia. Performers will be available to sign CDs purchased on site. Beverages courtesy of Shiner Beers. FREE and open to the public. More details soon!
02.27.14 (5-6:30pm) Waterloo Records, 600A N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX.
It Gets Better
Conspirare Symphonic Choir, Capital City Men’s Chorus and Amphion Youth Choir join a national touring performance of this inspirational musical response to bullying, one of the most challenging issues among today’s adolescents.
09.20.13 (8pm) Long Center, Austin, TX. Presented by the Long Center.
Holiday Celebration Party
“Conspirare Christmas” Après-concert: meet the artists and enjoy a signature Conspirare cocktail with dessert.
12.09.13 (9pm) Kodosky Donor Lounge, Long Center, Austin, TX
Conspirare’s popular annual spring fundraiser. This year Craig Hella Johnson will perform front and center to celebrate his tenure as Texas State Musician 2013-14. Featuring Ruthie Foster, Eliza Gilkyson, and Patrice Pike. The deluxe event will include drinks, dinner, and a silent auction. Save the date and watch for details!
03.23.14 (6pm) Brazos Hall, Austin, TX
Where the audience is the choir! FREE
10.17.13 (6:30pm) Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Sing along with Craig Hella Johnson, enjoy the exhibit “Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings,” and hear Conspirare Symphonic Choir perform a Renaissance chorale or two.
12.17.13 (6pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
Raise your voice in music for the holidays!
04.17.14 Austin, TX. A special sing-along in collaboration with Fusebox Festival.
Time and location to be announced.