Conspirare's Grammy┬« award-winning Artistic Director & Conductor Craig Hella Johnson debuts his groundbreaking contemporary oratorio. Following a 2014 Grammy for Best Choral performance, and a recent nomination in the same category, the incomparable singers of Conspirare will deliver a poignant concert experience, inspiring  hope, compassion and empowerment.
In October 1998 a shocking hate crime was committed against Matthew Shepard who was brutally beaten and left tied to a fence to die. Shepard's story haunted Johnson for years and finally impelled him to compose a musical response to this tragedy. "The entire process has been about asking questions, particularly this enduring question of whether or not love itself is part of our essential nature, even amidst the many painful and confounding realities of our existence," said Johnson.
An ensemble of 29 singers and eight instrumentalists, including Johnson on piano, will lead the listener through a tapestry of musical textures and styles of this contemporary oratorio. "It began as a passion setting and expanded from that into a fusion oratorio with a breadth of musical styles such as chant, choral movements, arias, folk songs and theater songs," said Johnson.
Each performance will commence with a pre-concert talk by author Elizabeth Neeld and Austin concerts will conclude with a post-concert conversation with prolific composer Robert Kyr, Jason Marsden, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and Craig Hella Johnson.
This work will be recorded for a fall 2016 album release on Harmonia Mundi.

Saturday, February 20, 2016 8pm
Sunday, February 21, 2016 4pm
AISD Performing Arts Center
1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd.
Austin, TX 78773

Saturday February 27, 2016 8pm
First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
540 S. Commonwealth Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90020


In conjunction with Austin Film Society, 
Conspirare will be hosting a special screening of 
Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine. Director Michele Josue will be in attendance for a post-show panel discussion. 

Sunday January 31, 2016 7pm
The Marchesa Hall & Theater
6226 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, TX 78752


Celebrating our 23rd season, Conspirare is a Grammy® award-winning choral ensemble that creates exceptional concert experiences. With the world-class artistry of its extraordinary voices and the incomparable direction of conductor Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare is one of the finest choirs performing today. Inspired by the power of music to transform lives, Conspirare performances are musical magic.


Considering Matthew Shepard Community Partners




Season Sustaining Underwriter


enjoy the perks!


We look forward to seeing you at the concerts!
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