Texas choir wins Grammy for 'The Sacred Spirit of Russia'

At the Grammy awards on Sunday, Feb. 8, the choral group Conspirare from Austin, Texas took home the award for “Best choral performance” for their program of Russian Orthodox hymns and prayers entitled “The Sacred Spirit of Russia.”

The collection of works by Alexander Gretchaninov, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Kastalsky and others was released by the choir in February 2014.

The Grammy awards are presented every year by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry.

The album represents the Russian cathedral-style Divine Liturgy, assembling musical settings by a variety of composers in much the same way it is done in most Russian Orthodox churches on any Sunday or feast day.

Founded in 1991 as New Texas Festival, they began to perform regularly in 1999. Conspirare has released over 20 albums and one DVD and has been nominated for six Grammy Awards.

Accepting the Grammy, conductor Craig Hella Johnson thanked his team, the Harmonia Mundi label and Vladimir Morosan, who is the head of Musica Russica project – the largest publisher of Russian choral music outside of Russia.

Conspirare, conducted by Craig Hella Johnson, performs "The Great Doxology" by Alexander Kastalsky. Source: Youtube

Russian pianist Daniil Triofonov, 23, was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best classical instrumental solo” category for his recording “The Carnegie Recital,” but lost to Jason Vieaux.

This article is based on reporting from TASS.

Read more: Evocative, traditional Russian Orthodox monasteries in the United States give visitors a taste of a more mystical life

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