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Classical Music

Classical Classroom MusicWorks, Ep. 167: Craig Hella Johnson, Activism In Classical Music (Part 2)

Is classical music strong enough to go to dark places?


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Craig Hella Johnson at the world premiere of "Considering Matthew Shepard."
Craig Hella Johnson at the world premiere of “Considering Matthew Shepard.”

Craig Johnson wrote a beautiful piece of music that commemorates a tragic event: the brutal beating of a young gay man. The piece asks listeners to consider Matt Shepard, the person who lived through the event, and to consider the life Shepard lived prior to the beating. In this episode, part 2 of our 2-part series on activism in classical music, Johnson talks about his Grammy-nominated choral work, “Considering Matthew Shepard.” He also talks about the strong and effective tool that classical music can be in bringing people together and in shedding light upon dark places.

Music in this episode:

  • Music from “Considering Matthew Shepard,” by Craig Hella Johnson
  • By Johann Sebastian Bach
    • B Minor Mass
    • Prelude in C major from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier
    • St. Matthew Passion

Audio production by Todd “Hella” Hulslander with assistance from Dacia Clay and Mark DiClaudio.

To learn more about Conspirare, go here. To learn more about the Laramie Project, go here.