Conductor and Music Director


Visit the Engagements page for upcoming performances.
Visit for information about the Minnehaha Music Repertory Orchestra.
Craig Randal Johnson, Artistic Director

Previous Engagements:

Minnehaha Music Repertory Orchestra
Craig Randal Johnson, Conductor
November 8, 2015
Elizabeth York, Violinist
Dragseth Auditorium/ Edina, Minnesota

Minnehaha Music Repertory Orchestra
Craig Randal Johnson, Conductor
November 9, 2014
Justin Berkowitz, Tenor
Dragseth Auditorium/ Edina, Minnesota

Finnfest 2014 Chamber Symphony Concert (US Premieres of works by Uljas Pulkkis and Olli Kortekangas)
Craig Randal Johnson, Conductor
August 8, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Katri Ervamaa, Cellist

Finnfest 2011 Chamber Symphony ConcertRockland, the Opera - USA PREMIERE
Craig Randal Johnson, Conductor
August 11, 2011/ Finnfest 2011 in San Diego
San Diego, California
Folke Gräsbeck, Pianist
Gregory Barrett, Clarinetist
James Koenig, Baritone

Craig Randal Johnson, Conductor
July 15 and 17, 2011
Pine Mountain Music Festival/ Houghton, Michigan

Composed by Jukka Linkola (Finland); book by Jussi Tapola (Finland)
Rozsa Center at Michigan Technological University

Finn Grand Fest 2005
The July 17 performance was livestreamed on the web, and viewed by over 32,000 people. Two further livestreams followed. Both performances were sold out.

Boreal Chamber Symphony/ 'Concert for Lake Superior'The FinnFest 2007 Symphony Concert
Conductor and Artistic Director
October 18, 2009
Marquette, MI
Paul Lundin, Solo Violinist

Conductor/ Music Director
July 27, 2007
Lakeside Performing Arts Center
Ashtabula, OH
Elizabeth Bell, Solo Violinist

Boreal Chamber Symphony/ 'Concert for Lake Superior'Southwest Minnesota Orchestra
Conductor and Artistic Director
July 15, 2007
Marquette, MI

Guest Conductor
April 29, 2007
Schwan Community Center for the Performing Arts/ Marshall, MN
Daniel Rieppel, Solo Pianist

Marquette Symphony Orchestra
Guest Conductor
September 16, 2006
Kaufman Auditorium/ Marquette, MI

Concert for Lake Superior/ Boreal Chamber Symphony/  Marquette MI

Superior Festival Orchestra Chamber Players
August 4, 2006
St. Joseph Catholic Church/ Escanaba, MI

Finn Grand Fest 2005 Gala Festival Concert
Conductor/ Music Director
August 11, 2005
Lakeview Arena/ Marquette MI
Evan Premo, Solo Double Bassist/ Composer Jukka Linkola
James Koenig, Baritone Soloist
The Finn Grand Fest 2005 Festival Orchestra
The Marquette Choral Society

Superior Festival Orchestra                                                                                       Concert for Lake Superior, Boreal Chamber Symphony

Conductor/ Music Director
July 31, 2005 Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette, MI
Catherine LeGrand, Solo Flutist

August 5, 2005 Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette, MI
August 6, 2005 William W. Oliver Auditorium, Escanaba, MI

Hamline University Orchestra
Guest Conductor
November 5, 2005
Sundin Hall / St. Paul, MN

Superior Festival Orchestra
Guest Conductor
July 29, 2004
Norway Fine Arts Performing Center/ Norway, MI
Evan Premo, Solo Double Bassist/ Mary Bonhag, Soprano/ White Water Ensemble

Arius Chamber Orchestra Concert
March 7, 2004 Bloomington Center for the Arts/ Bloomington MN
March 14, 2004 St. Michael’s Lutheran Church/ Bloomington MN
Jake Endres, Baritone

Finnfest 2002 Symphony Concert
Conductor/Music Director
August 11, 2002
Ted Mann Auditorium/ Minneapolis, MN
Ulla Suokko, Flute Soloist
Eeva Savolainen, Soprano
James Koenig, Baritone

Finnfest Sym Rehearsal/ Ashtabula OH


North Star Opera
St. Paul, Minnesota

Music Director
Menotti: ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors'
O’Shaughnessy Auditorium

Conductor/ Music Director
Mozart: ‘The Marriage of Figaro’
Larry Whiteley, Stage Director
O’Shaughnessy Auditorium

FinnFest Symphony Rehearsal, Ashtabula, OH
Read the Reviews

College Light Opera Company
Summer 1983
Highfield Theater in Falmouth MA
Productions: ‘The Desert Song’, ‘Princess Ida’, and ‘South Pacific’

Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück/ Leiter der Schauspielmusik (Director for Stage Music)Repetitor
Osnabrück, Germany

Major Productions (18 - 30 performances each):
Schweyk in World War II/ Schweyk im zweiten Weltkrieg
By Bertolt Brecht / Music by Hanns Eisler
Stage Direction: Goswin Moniac

The Caucasian Chalk Circle/ Der kaukasische Kreidekreis
By Bertolt Brecht/ Music by Paul Dessau
Stage Direction: Goswin Moniac and Rolf Wilken
Addiitional Performances in Gießen, Lünen, and Minden.

‘The Star’/ Die Kleider (first German performances)
By Helmut Kajzar (Warsaw National Theater)/ Music by Piotr Moss
Stage Direction: Helmut Kajzar

Richard’s Cork Leg/ Richards Korkbein
By Brendan Behan/ Music Irish songs, various
Stage Direction: Rudolf Kautek (Austria)

Pinocchio’s Adventures, by Willy Herzig adapted from Carlo Collodi
Craig Johnson, Composer

Gingerbread Man/ Der Pfefferkuchenmann
Christmas Play with music by David Wood

ORIGINAL MUSIC composed for: Leonce and Lena (Buchner), Stage of Siege (Camus), Der Tollste Tag (Turrini after Beaumarchais), King Lear (Shakespeare), and other productions.

Read the Reviews

Rome Festival Orchestra / Resident Conductor
Rome, Italy
‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (Mozart)/ Rome in 1982
‘Cosi fan tutte’ (Mozart)/ Rome and Anzio in 1981

Orchestral Performances in Rome, The Vatican, Foggia, Syracusa, Bari, Catania, Naples.

Read the Reviews

Staatstheater Braunschweig/ Solo Opera and Ballet Repetitor/ Assistant ConductorStaatstheater Bremen/ Repetitor for Ballet/ Assistant Conductor
Braunschweig, Germany

Bremen, Germany
Hanns Kresnik, Ballet Director

Florida Symphony Orchestra/ Staff ConductorOther Minneapolis-St. Paul area ensembles conducted:
Orlando, Florida

44 Childrens Concerts in Orlando, Sanford; Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties

Ensemble Warhol
Finlandia Foundation Orchestra
Lakeshore Players
MacPhail Concerto Concert
Minneapolis All-City High School Opera: ‘THE MAGIC FLUTE’
The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra/ 1991 Summer Season
North Hennepin Community College Theater
Theatre l’Homme Dieu


Repertoire Conducted in Concert since 2002:

Abels, Michael: American Variations on “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”
Mark Flaherty, Trumpet Soloist
Almila, Atso: Main Paras Vaif/ My Best Wife
James Koenig, Baritone
Anderson, Leroy: The Typewriter
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a
Bernstein: Overture to “Candide”
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
Copenhaver, Lee: *Classic Changes
Englund, Einar: Music from the Film ‘The White Reindeer’/ Valkoinen Peura
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46
Händel: Selections from the ‘Water Music’
Heitzeg: Madeline Island: Sanctuary in Blue
Ives: Variations on “America”
Järnefelt, Armas: Praeludium, and Berceuse
Kuusisto, Taneli: Suomalainen Rukous/ Finnish Prayer
James Koenig, Baritone
Linkola, Jukka 'Rockland, The Opera' (USA Premiere)
Pine Mountain Music Festival Soloists, Opera Orchestra and Chorus/ see
Melartin, Erkki Violin Concerto, Op. 60 (USA Premiere)
Elizabeth Bell, Violin Soloist
Merikanto, Oscar: Five Songs
Eeva Savolainen, Soprano/ James Koenig, Baritone
Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A, K. 201
Mozart: Serenade No. 10 in B-flat, K. 361 “Gran Partita”
Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro: Overture and three Arias
Jake Endres, Baritone
Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525
Nielsen, Carl: Suite for String Orchestra, Op. 1
Pärt, Arvo: Fratres/ for String Orchestra and Percussion
Premo, Evan: *Fall Storm on Lake Superior
Proto, Frank: A Carmen Fantasy for Double Bass and Orchestra
Evan Premo, Double Bassist
Rautavaara: Concerto for Flutes and Orchestra, Op. 69
Ulla Suokko, Flute Soloist
Rautavaara: Pelimannit/ Fiddlers, for String Orchestra
Schubert: Rosamunde Overture, K. 644
Sibelius: Quintet in G minor (1890) for Piano Solo and String Orchestra
Adopted by Jouni Kaipainen: Intermezzo and Andante (USA Premiere)
Folke Gräsbeck, Piano Soloist
Sibelius: 'En Saga' Septet/ reconstructed by Gregory Barrett
Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Op. 11
Sibelius: Rakastava/ The Lover, Op. 14
Sibelius: Lemminkäinen’s Return, Op. 22
Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26
Sibelius: Songs: Demanten på Marssnön, Op. 36, No. 6
Flickan kom ifån sin älskings möte, Op. 37 No. 5
Var det en dröm, Op. 37, No. 4
Svarta rosor, Op. 36, No. 1
James Koenig, Baritone
Sibelius: Valse Triste, Op. 44
Sibelius: Dance Intermezzo, Op. 45, No. 2
Sibelius: Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51: Solitude and Night Music
Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52
Sibelius: Pan and Echo, Op. 53
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat, Op. 82
Stamitz, Karl: Flute Concerto in G, Op. 29
Catherine LeGrand, Flute Soloist
Tikka, Kari: Exsultate!/ Overture Bellosio
Tikka, Kari: *Threnos, for String Orchestra
Commemorating the Victims of New York and Washington/ September 11, 2001
Vivaldi: Autumn
Whitcomb, Robert: *Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2006)
Daniel Rieppel, Piano Soloist
Wiren, Dag: Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 11
Yli-Salomäki, Aki: Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra (2004)
Gregory Barrett, Clarinet Soloist

* denotes World Premiere

With the ‘White Water Band’:
Water from Another Time, River, Danny Boy, Finnish Folk Songs: Metsakukkia, Villirussu, Maailman Matti, Karjalan Poijat Polkka.
Evan Premo, Double Bassist
Mary Bonhag, Soprano
Laurel Premo, Banjo and Guitar

Ellington/ arr. Hermann: A Duke Ellington Fantasy
Kander, arr. Sayre: Theme from “New York, New York”
Kern/ arr. Bourdon: “Show Boat” Medley
Loesser/ arr. Custer: Music from “Guys and Dolls”
Webber/ arr. Custer: “Phantom of the Opera” Selections
Williams/ arr. Cacavas: “Jaws”, Suite from the Motion Picture

© Craig Randal Johnson 2016