Craig Hella Johnson on The Singing Guitar

“I always want to find ways for listeners to have their own rich experience of knowing a work deeply and being moved by its unique language and expression.” -Craig Hella Johnson Managing director Ann McNair recently asked artistic director Craig Hella Johnson what he...

Rising Opera Star Credits Conspirare Youth Choir for Success

If you vacation in Hawaii this summer, be sure to catch Brennan Martinez singing the title role of Carmen in The Tragedy of Carmen, Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen as part of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Brennan is a graduate student at the Fletcher...

Hope of Loving CD Release

“A vivid stream courses beneath Hope of Loving,” observed a Conspirare audience member, “a stream of thrumming, heart-beating voices constantly being born.” Hope of Loving, choral music of Jake Runestad, is available on CD and online streaming starting next month....

Our Work Echoes Out Beyond Performance

Conspirare is shaping choral education and performance across the country. We checked in with Craig Hella Johnson and three Conspirare vocalists to see how the ensemble is influencing choral music today. Return to the Muse In his role as Artist-in-Residence at Texas...

Ellen Graham

Cincinnati based mezzo-soprano Ellen Graham is a versatile singer who has garnered recognition for performances that are “stirring” and “beautifully sung.” She performs regularly in Cincinnati with Collegium Cincinnati, convert:nova, and Queen City Opera. She is a...

My Heart is Full: Songs for Muska

When Craig Hella Johnson recommended I Am the Beggar of the World, a book of traditional Landays folk-couplets by Pashtun women on the Afghanistan and Pakistan border, to friend and fellow composer Jocelyn Hagen, he knew exactly what he was doing. The two-line poems...

Learning and Healing with Conspirare

One way Conspirare shares the power of choral music is through Craig Hella Johnson’s teaching and conducting. Recently, Johnson served as the conductor for the Texas Two Year All-State Choir; an auditioned choir made up of students from 2-year colleges across...
Joshua Chai, piano

Joshua Chai, piano

Joshua Chai is the Director of Choral Activities at Concordia University Texas in Austin, where he directs the University Choir and Concordia Singers, teaches courses in conducting, theory, and composition, and directs the Director of Parish Music certification...
Anna Park, cello

Anna Park, cello

Anna Park is currently the Assistant Principal cellist of the Austin Symphony. A highly sought after orchestral and chamber musician, Anna has performed with a variety of ensembles such as the Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, International Contemporary...
Sara Nelson, cello

Sara Nelson, cello

Cellist Sara Nelson is a native of Houston, Texas, where she graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She received her Bachelor of Cello Performance degree with Paul Olefsky at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1997 she became a founding...
Caleb Polashek, violin

Caleb Polashek, violin

Caleb is a violinist based in Austin, Texas. His work can be seen and heard in a variety of performance settings. A recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Caleb performs regularly with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the band Les RAV. He composes...
Bruce Williams, viola

Bruce Williams, viola

-Principal violist of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, violist of the Allegro Chamber Trio, and founding member and manager of the Artisan Quartet. -Founder and Artistic Director of the Mason Chamber Music Festival and Director of Chamber Music for the Texas Bach...
Matthew Teodori, percussion

Matthew Teodori, percussion

Matthew Teodori founded line upon line percussion in 2009 and currently serves as its Executive and Artistic Director. He has performed with the Austin Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Conspirare, ELISION, Inversion Ensemble, Mid-Texas Symphony, Panoramic Voices,...

Lara Alami

Lara Alami performs with choral ensembles Audivi, Sounding Light, Vocal Arts Ensemble Cincinnati, and Oregon Bach Festival. She has sung the contralto role of Vera Boronel in Menotti’s The Consul with Opera MODO Detroit. She has also performed with Motor City Lyric...

Sean Taylor

Pennsylvania native and current Brownsville, Texas resident Sean Taylor is Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he conducts the Master Chorale and Chamber Singers and teaches applied voice,...
Carla McElhaney, Piano

Carla McElhaney, Piano

An innovative presence in the classical music field, pianist Carla McElhaney is highly regarded as a dynamic performing artist and a creative arts entrepreneur. She is the pianist, co-founder, and Executive/Artistic Director of Austin’s innovative chamber music and...

Alissa Ruth Suver

Nashville, Tennessee-based soprano Alissa Ruth Suver’s warmth, clarity, and flexibility have allowed her to feel comfortable singing in a variety of genres, though she performs primarily early and choral music. Her career has led her to sing all over the...
Mitzi Westra

Mitzi Westra

Dr. Mitzi Westra, mezzo-soprano, received her B.A. degree in music and religion from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Her graduate work was done at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she received her M.M. and D.M.A. in vocal performance,...

Dana Wilson

Dana’s performance repertoire extends from early renaissance music to contemporary jazz. He has performed throughout the US and internationally in opera, operetta, oratorio, in recital, and as a chamber music soloist. Frequently visiting the concert stage,...

Conspirare Performs at Washington National Cathedral

Conspirare performed for 2,025 attendees for the interment of Matthew Shepard’s ashes at Washington National Cathedral on October 26. Conductor Craig Hella Johnson led Conspirare’s choir of 34 singers and eight instrumentalists. Conspirare performed selections...
Steven Brennfleck

Steven Brennfleck

Praised by the New York Times as a “stand out” performer, tenor Steven Brennfleck has been consistently acknowledged for his consummate artistry, vocal flexibility, and moving interpretations on the operatic and concert stage. His operatic credits include performances...

Chelsea Helm

With spirit and sensitivity, soprano Chelsea Helm brings a versatile voice to the concert stage. In addition to her ensemble debut with Conspirare, Ms. Helm will appear this season with Grammy-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale,...

Sarah Moyer

Known for her “purity and flawless range” (South Florida Classical Review), soprano Sarah Moyer was exclusively featured in the 2014 the Boston Globe Magazine for her work as a professional singing artist and deemed her “the kind of church singer who will...
Melissa Solomon, Cello

Melissa Solomon, Cello

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melissa Solomon came from a family of professional musicians and developed an early passion for music. She immigrated to the United States after receiving a full scholarship to study at Interlochen Arts Academy and graduated from...

Now Airing Nationwide: Considering Matthew Shepard on PBS

Conspirare is excited to announce the October 2018 release of KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and Conspirare’s  co-produced PBS Special Considering Matthew Shepard to a national television audience. What began as a simple idea to record a performance became an inimitable...

David Kurtenbach

DAVID KURTENBACH, tenor, described in “warm and intimate” performances as having a “voice “lined with silver,” (Classical Voice) enjoys an active ensemble and solo career, specializing in early music. He has appeared as soloist with Philharmonia Baroque...

Zach Finkelstein

American-Canadian Zach Finkelstein has quickly established himself as a leading tenor soloist in North America and abroad, from Seattle’s Benaroya Hall to New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s Sadler’s Wells to the National Arts Center in Beijing, China. Zach’s debut...

Simon Barrad

The versatility of “gorgeous voiced” baritone, Simon Barrad, has been heard across the United States and Europe in opera, Lieder, and oratorio concerts.  His favorite performed roles and pieces include Dandini (La Cenerentola) and Robert (Iolanta) with Queen City...

Katy Avery

Described by Classical Voice of North Carolina as singing “in a beautifully pure tone,” Katy Avery is a soloist and ensemble singer based in Philadelphia, PA where she regularly performs with the Grammy award winning group, The Crossing. She has sung with Choral Arts...

Kemper Florin

Soprano Kemper Florin cultivates a wide-ranging career as a performer and producer of musical theatre, opera, concert and stage work.  As a vocalist, Kemper’s solo engagements include appearances at the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia) and at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall...

Jonathan Gentry

Jonathan Gentry is a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he performs with the Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble, and the Louisville Chamber Choir. He graduated from the University of Louisville, studying voice and business.  During his time in...

Enrico Lagasca

Acclaimed to have “a beautiful sound” (New York Times), Philippines born bass-baritone Enrico Lagasca is enjoying a career in Oratorio, Opera, Chamber Music, and Recitals with repertoire from Early to Contemporary music both as Soloist and Chorister across America....
Utah Hamrick, Double Bass

Utah Hamrick, Double Bass

Dr. Utah Hamrick is a jazz educator who holds a Bachelors in Music Education and Masters in Bass Performance from Central Michigan University and a DMA in Jazz Performance from the University of Texas. He joined Texas State School of Music faculty in the fall of 2015...

Michael Jones

Michael Jones, tenor, performs nationwide as a soloist and chamber musician. Based in Philadelphia, Michael sings regularly with the Grammy award-winning choir, The Crossing. He sings throughout the country, including frequent appearances in his native Chicago and in...

Todd Brennan

Todd Brennan, a native Houstonian, is performing in his first concert season with Conspirare. In his performing career as a tenor, he specializes in early solo and choral repertoire, and baroque oratorio. While at Texas State University he had the privilege of working...

Lauren McAllister

Lauren McAllister is a lyric mezzo-soprano currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Recent appearances include Lazuli (l’Ètoile, Sin City Opera), Melanto (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Opera Louisiane), and as the mezzo soloist for the Duruflé Requiem with...

Angela Burns

Angela Burns has performed as a soloist worldwide before Presidents Bush, Carter, Clinton and Obama and in the presence of 1 billion listeners on TV, broadcasts and live recordings.   She has worked with well-known conductors such as John Rutter, Paul Hill, Dale...

Ana Baida

Ana Baida, a native of Texas, enjoys simultaneous careers as a higher education administrator and singer. Rarely listening to anyone who says “you can’t,” Ana decided to equally pursue both of her passions: education and choral singing. Ana resides...
Austin Haller

Austin Haller

Austin Haller is an organist, pianist, conductor, vocal coach, arranger, and tenor who can be heard in Texas and beyond. Hailed as “always remarkable” (Austin Chronicle), he is delighted to perform regularly with Conspirare’s Company of Voices, Symphonic Choir, and...
Grace Youn

Grace Youn

A musician who “effortlessly weaves between genres and brings as much rock and roll to the violin as she does classical precision and refinement to rock and roll,” Grace Youn is quickly establishing herself as one of today’s most versatile violinists. A native...

Drayton Eggleson

Drayton received his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Northern Illinois University in 2010. While Drayton attended Northern Illinois, he performed in the NIU Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Opera Workshop. Drayton studied under Myron Myers, Dr. Mary Lynn...

Jason Vest

Tenor Jason Vest enjoys a full life as an active musician and educator. Vest is a versatile performer who enjoys equally the challenges of opera, concert, recital, and professional choral work.  He has been featured with Cincinnati Opera, Amarillo Opera, Stara Zagora...

Eliza Bagg

In growing demand as an interpreter of new and early music, Brooklyn-based soprano Eliza Bagg has worked closely on projects with a number of prominent and emerging composers. Recent and upcoming engagements include: John Zorn’s Commedia dell’Arte at the...
Commissions

Commissions

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”About”]Conspirare is committed to the repertoire of the choral canon and to engaging in musical performances which represent both the voices of today and voices that have been silenced or under-represented. We actively seek to...
Kathy Kienzle, harp

Kathy Kienzle, harp

Oregon native Kathy Kienzle joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1993 as acting principal harp and now serves as principal harp. A frequent soloist with the Orchestra, she gave the world premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Harp Concerto at Orchestra Hall in 2000 and...

Craig Peterson

Dr. Craig Peterson is Director of Choral Activities and serves as the Music Department Chair at Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ where he conducts a concert choir, a vocal jazz ensemble and the chamber choir, Canto Vivo Chorale. He received a B.M. Degree from...

Megan Roth

An active collaborative musician, mezzo-soprano Megan Roth has performed with several renowned national ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Vox Humana, Yale Choral Artists, Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, and Boston Baroque. In the 2014-2015...

Fotina Naumenko

Soprano Fotina Naumenko is a versatile artist who enjoys performing a wide variety of vocal genres, including opera, oratorio, art song, musical theater, choral and contemporary music, both as a soloist and chamber musician. Recent concert highlights have included a...
Douglas Harvey, Cello

Douglas Harvey, Cello

Douglas Harvey joined the cello section of the Austin Symphony at age 17, and in 2002 he became the youngest principal cellist in the history of the orchestra. In 2005 he would become the principle at Austin Opera Orchestra.  Harvey has been featured as soloist with...
Mitch Watkins, Guitar

Mitch Watkins, Guitar

Mitch Watkins discovered the guitar at age 13. Only months later, he was gigging with a surf band in McAllen, Texas. He hasn’t stopped since. His musical journey has taken him down many stylistic pathways, and to the far corners of the globe. Watkins performed and...
Jessica Valls, Double Bass

Jessica Valls, Double Bass

Double bassist Jessica Valls is an Austin, Texas-native musician who exemplifies the artistry of a true music lover, focusing not on just one genre, discipline, or stage. Performing regularly with several orchestras including the Austin and San Antonio Symphonies,...
Ames Asbell, Viola

Ames Asbell, Viola

Violist Ames Asbell has performed classical, tango, and popular music in over 30 countries around the world, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to universities to clubs. She appears on dozens of internationally released CDs, film scores and broadcasts, including the...
Vanguel Tangarov, Clarinet

Vanguel Tangarov, Clarinet

Vanguel Tangarov performs as principal clarinet for Austin Opera, Mid-Texas Symphony and Victoria Symphony orchestras. He has served as principal clarinet at Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria), Academia Chigiana Symphony Orchestra (Italy), Jeunesses Musicales...

Sam Kreidenweis

Bass-baritone Sam Kreidenweis’ stylistic versatility, rich sound, and engaging stage presence has gained him praise nationally and abroad. As a vocal chamber music artist Sam appears nationally with Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Atlanta, GA), Kinnara Ensemble (Princeton,...
Anne-Marie Dicce

Anne-Marie Dicce

Praised for her “beautiful, pure, and caressing voice” (Kansas City Metropolis), Anne-Marie Dicce has performed as a soloist and ensemble singer throughout North America, Europe, and South America. A frequent interpreter of 17th/18th and 20th/21st century...
Lauren Vick

Lauren Vick

Lauren Vick has been a lover of music for her entire life. Before relocating to Austin, Lauren was a prominent member of the rich choral world of Minneapolis-St. Paul. While in the Twin Cities, Lauren worked with The Rose Ensemble, The Gregorian Singers, and...

Steven Soph

Steven Soph, tenor, performs as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. 2013 marked his Cleveland Symphony solo debut under Ton Koopman in an all-Handel program in Severance Hall. Recent highlights include: Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion...

Anna Christofaro

Praised for her vocal agility and clear tone, Minneapolis based soprano, Anna Christofaro, is gaining recognition as an interpreter of a wide range of repertoire from early to contemporary music. Highlights include performing at the Olavfestagene Festival in...
For Testing Stuff

For Testing Stuff

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”1″]   [su_slider source=”media: 16104,16106,16105,16102,16101,16100,16103,16108″ limit=”30″ width=”400″]    
Jacquelyn Venter, Harp

Jacquelyn Venter, Harp

Playing the harp for Dr. Jacquelyn Venter is more than just being an active performer and teacher, it is her way of life. “I can say things with my harp that I may not always be able to articulate with words. When I don’t play for a while, I feel like my emotional...
Faith DeBow, Piano

Faith DeBow, Piano

Described as a “stunning” pianist who plays “with grace and beauty,” Faith DeBow is sought after for both her collaborative and solo playing. She enjoys a vibrant career based in the Central Texas region. Ms. DeBow has worked with artists such as Denyce Graves and...
Thomas Burritt, Percussion

Thomas Burritt, Percussion

Thomas Burritt received degrees from Ithaca College School of Music (BM – education and performance), Kent State University (MM), and Northwestern University (DMA). Active in the creation and performance of new music for percussion Burritt has built a reputation in...
Tony Edwards, Percussion

Tony Edwards, Percussion

Tony Edwards is currently the Principal Timpanist for the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Principal Percussionist for the Britt Music Festival, Assistant Principal Percussionist for the Austin Lyric Opera, and Principal Percussionist / Timpanist for the Texas Philharmonic....
Michelle Schumann, Piano

Michelle Schumann, Piano

Hailed for her “… sensitive, flexible, and tempestuous dexterity,” (Fanfare Magazine) pianist Michelle Schumann has built a reputation for evocative and moving performances that are infused with unique energy and zeal. Winner of the 2006 Janice K. Hodges Competition...
Stephen Redfield, Violin

Stephen Redfield, Violin

Violinist Stephen Redfield is concertmaster of the Santa Fe Pro Musica, and each summer plays with the Victoria Bach Festival where his performances as concertmaster and soloist have been produced on discs and broadcast nationally. He is a long-standing participant in...

Tony Beck

Tony Beck, tenor, is from Somers, CT. He most recently sang the tenor solos in Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the role of Third Lackey in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Der Rosenkavalier. He has also sung roles with...
Spirit of Russia

Spirit of Russia

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”About”]The Russian Orthodox tradition is one that has greatly shaped the American choral sound. Many listener’s first encounter with this musical tradition comes from the cherished masterwork All Night Vigil (Vespers) by Sergei...
Considering Matthew Shepard

Considering Matthew Shepard

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”About”] “Matt Shepard and his story have led me on an inspiring, challenging and deeply meaningful journey that I continue to this day. In composing Considering Matthew Shepard  I wanted to create, within a musical framework,...

Derek Chester

Praised by the New York Times for his “beautifully shaped and carefully nuanced singing,” tenor Derek Chester is steadily making a name for himself in the world of classical music. Mr. Chester received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from...

Scott Mello

Scott Mello has been praised for his “lyrical tenor” (New York Times), “velvet legato” (SanDiego.com) and for being “sonorous and alive to text” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). The 2013/14 season begins with staged performances of Messiaen’s La Mort du Nombre with Cantata...
The Poet Sings

The Poet Sings

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”About”] “The Poet Sings” is the joyful, lifelong exploration of the dance of words and music. T. S. Eliot captures the spirit of this exploration in his poem, The Still Point: At the still point of the turning world....
Robert Kyr CD

Robert Kyr CD

Conspirare / Craig Hella Johnson 2014Harmonia Mundi 807577 – 76’48” Pre-sales begin July 1, 2014 [expand title=”view tracks and sample clips” trigclass=”blueview”] ♦ Recorded June 2013 at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi...

Jason Awbrey

Heralded as having “one of the most gorgeous baritones on earth” by The Dallas Morning News, baritone Jason Awbrey is a highly sought after concert singer. His lyric voice has garnered critical acclaim for his performances of literature ranging from the early...

Thann Scoggin

Thann Scoggin, bass-baritone, is widely recognized for his versatility and commitment to solo engagements as well as performances in chamber music and as an ensemble singer.  He has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles in such diverse concert repertoire as J....

Dashon Burton

Grammy® Award-winning Dashon Burton brought home a Second Prize from the 2012 ARD International Music Competition in Munich (no First Prizes awarded), along with the First Prize in Oratorio at the 49th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the...

Photos from our March events

Late March was a busy time for Conspirare! “Moving Light,” Symphonic Choir (with Shay Ishii Dance Company) Photos by Danny Brod, 03.28.14 “Moving Light” program page Hidden Music Spring Fundraiser Photos by Dave Mead 03.23.14 Hidden Music...

Tynan Davis

Tynan Davis is a Texan in New York and a singer of songs described by the New York Times as “a marvel: a stylish singer whose presence lighted up the stage.” A versatile performer with an easy grace, she has established herself within musical theater,...

Gil Zilkha

Gil Zilkha received a Masters in Voice Performance from University of Texas and a J.D. from New York University. He has performed Bach’s St. John Passion, Mass in B minor, and Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Dvorak’s Stabat mater, Handel’s Messiah and Judas...

Paul Max Tipton

Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a dignified and beautiful singer, Paul Max Tipton, baritone, performs nationally to acclaim in repertoire ranging from Schütz and Monteverdi to Britten and Bolcom. He solos under such notable figures as Masaaki Suzuki,...

Larry Speakman

Larry Speakman received a Bachelor of Music in voice and music education from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music in choral and orchestral conducting from East Carolina University. In the Westminster Choir he sang under Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw,...

John Proft

John Proft graduated from University of North Texas where he studied voice and served as section leader with A Cappella Choir and Collegium Singers, with which he performed at the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, MoUNTain Music Institute, and recorded the...

Glenn A. Miller

Glenn Miller is well-known for his unique basso profundo voice. His singing career includes numerous performances and recordings as a member of Conspirare, Robert Shaw Festival Singers, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Choir of Men and Boys, Choir of St. Paul’s...

Thomas McCargar

Thomas McCargar launched his singing career with the Grammy® Award-winning men’s vocal ensemble Chanticleer, extensively touring the United States, Europe and Japan. He now lives in New York City, where he is a member of the acclaimed Trinity Wall Street Church Choir,...

Tim Krol

Tim Krol, a native New Yorker, most recently premiered and recorded Thomas Oboe Lee’s song cycle De Profundis, based on Oscar Wilde’s epic letter. With Minnesota Orchestra he was soloist in the premiere of Ikon of Eros by Sir John Tavener and portrayed two featured...

Harris Ipock

Harris Ipock is currently pursuing his doctorate in choral conducting at the Eastman School of Music. Recently, he has served on the faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has guest-conducted performances with the Virginia Chorale and Voices. Harris has...

Robert Harlan

Robert Harlan is a founding member of Conspirare, having performed in the professional and symphonic ensembles every season since 1993. Robert studied voice with notable baritone Jess Walters and has sung as a soloist and chorister with numerous professional, civic,...

Bradford Gleim

Baritone Bradford Gleim enjoys an active singing career devoted to opera, oratorio, song and choral music. Hailed as “someone to watch,” “Gleim’s rich, expressive voice” has been described as “consistently impressive, his restraint only reinforced [by] his vocal...

Rick Gabrillo

After attending New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University, Rick Gabrillo completed master’s degrees in choral music education and choral conducting at University of Texas-Austin under Craig Hella Johnson. Rick is Manager of Conspirare Youth Choirs,...

David Farwig

David Farwig has been hailed as a lyric baritone with a unique and beautiful sound, unsurpassed clarity, flexibility, and deep expressivity. Whether in oratorio or recital, he is at home bringing a full range of styles to the stage. As a professional solo and choral...