Craig Hella Johnson

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Craig Hella Johnson
Birth name Craig Morris Johnson
Born June 15, 1962
Crow Wing County, Minnesota, US
Genres choral, contemporary music, classical music
Occupation(s) composer, conductor, educator, arranger
Instruments piano
Associated acts Conspirare, Chanticleer

Craig Morris Hella Johnson (born June 15, 1962 in Crow Wing County, Minnesota)[1] is an American choral conductor, composer, and arranger.

Life and career[edit]

Craig Morris Johnson was born on June 15, 1962 in Crow Wing County, Minnesota to Morris Melvin Johnson (1929-2015) and Marjorie Kathryn (Danielson) Johnson (b. 1931).[2] He and one of his sisters adopted the name Hella, after the village in Norway that their family came from.[3]

Originally from Minnesota,[4] he studied piano and sang in the St. Olaf Choir at St. Olaf College,[5] graduating in 1984.[6] He went on to study at Juilliard, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and Yale University, from which he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree.[7]

He founded and is the artistic director of the group Conspirare.[7] He is also the artistic director of the Victoria Bach Festival and in 1998-1999 was the artistic director of Chanticleer,[8] the second person to hold that position (after founder Louis Botto).[5]

Johnson serves as Resident Artist in Choral Music at Texas State University[7] and previously spent eight years as director of choral activities for The University of Texas.[5]

In April 2013, Johnson was named the 2013 Texas State Musician, the second classical musician to receive the honor.[9][10] In May 2013 Johnson was named Music Director/Conductor of Vocal Arts Ensemble in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On February 8, 2015 he and Conspirare won the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for their album The Sacred Spirit of Russia (Harmonia mundi HMU 807526).

He lives in Austin, TX with his partner, architect Philip Overbaugh.[11]


External links[edit]