Johnson, Craig Hella
- J. Michele Edwards
(b Brainerd, MN, June 15, 1962). American Conductor, pianist, singer, composer, and arranger. As the son of a Lutheran minister, he became a church organist at an early age and also studied piano and trumpet. In addition to music degrees from St. Olaf College (BA, piano, 1984), the University of Illinois (MM, choral conducting, 1985), and Yale University (MMA 1990, DMA, choral conducting, 1994), Johnson studied piano at Aspen Music School (1982) and the Juilliard School (1985) and conducting with Helmuth Rilling at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany, as a recipient of a National Arts Fellowship. While director of choral activities at the University of Texas, Austin (1990–2001), he took a leave to serve as artistic director of Chanticleer (1998), but soon returned to focus on his conducting. As founder and artistic director of the critically acclaimed Conspirare (known as the New Texas Festival, ...