On Monday May 16, the Conspirare choral ensemble travels to St. Paul’s Ordway Center to present their program “Stephen Paulus: A Lyrical Life.” Led by founding artistic director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare visits the late composer’s home town as they partner with Classical Minnesota Public Radio to pay tribute and honor Paulus’ commitment and support of the local choral arts community and his mentoring efforts and inspiration for choral composers everywhere. The concert features performances of Paulus’ Poemas de Amor, (a five-movement 2007 Conspirare commission), and favorites such as Pilgrims’ Hymn and Hymn to the Eternal Flame.
Brian Newhouse, Managing Director of Classical Minnesota Public Radio, shares some thoughts about the concert partnership. “We at Classical Minnesota Public Radio have been looking for an opportunity to host Conspirare in concert for several years. And when the stars (aka calendars) finally aligned for Spring ’16, the sense of joy was only heightened by the program they proposed. A concert to celebrate and honor the life and work of Stephen Paulus — performed two miles east of Stephen’s home where he lived and wrote for decades — is tender beyond words. Everyone in the Minnesota choral community cherishes the work of Stephen Paulus. And all those hearts were cracked a bit at his death a year and a half ago. To have this level of choir come to Steve’s hometown and perform his music…we simply can’t wait.”