In the past 25 years, Craig Carnahan has received over 50 commissions for original compositions. His music has been heard in performances by the Dale Warland Singers (St. Paul, MN), Conspirare (Austin, TX), the Los Angeles Master Chorale (Los Angeles, CA), Kantorei and St. Martin’s Chamber Choir (Denver, CO), Milwaukee Choral Artists (Milwaukee, WI), Minnesota Boychoir (St. Paul, MN), Master Chorale of Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL), and over thirty of the GALA choruses in North America.
Recent commissions and premieres include If in Your Heart for Choral Arts Ensemble (Rochester, MN), And the Angels Sang for Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and Everyone Sang for the Minnesota All-State Honors Choir.
Carnahan received his B.A. from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and did graduate studies in composition with Dominick Argento and Paul Fetler at the University of Minnesota. In 1993 he received a McKnight Composition Fellowship to collaborate with the acclaimed poet, playwright and filmmaker James Broughton on a setting of his libretto, The Last Word. In 1998 he was Composer-in-Residence for the American Composers Forum’s Faith Partners Residency Project. And, in 2008 and 2012, he received Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists will premiere his large-scale music-theater work Ghost Camp in their 2014-15 season. The piece was composed under the auspices of Carnahan’s 2012 MSAB Artist Initiative Grant.
His music has been described as “absorbing, richly textured and emotionally stirring” (Minneapolis Star Tribune).