Composer Jake Runestad (photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune)

When the nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards were announced last week, there was a shoutout for Minneapolis-based composer Jake Runestad.

“The Hope of Loving,” an album of his choral music by Texas choir Conspirare was one of five CDs listed in the Best Choral Performance category.

Although the actual Grammy would be awarded to Conspirare and its artistic director, Craig Hella Johnson, Runestad said was “absolutely thrilled.” Four years in the planning, the CD is the first to be entirely devoted to the 33-year-old composer's music.

Runestad was present at the three-day recording session in Austin, Texas, and said he was "deeply involved throughout the process, from the choice of repertoire, to input at rehearsals, to sitting in the production booth during the recording and providing feedback on each take.” 

No surprise, then, that Runestad views “The Hope of Loving” CD as “one of the proudest moments” of his career so far -- a career that has taken him from childhood days in Rockford, Ill., through education at Winona State University and the Peabody Conservatory, to his adopted hometown of Minneapolis.

“I am absolutely in love with how Craig and Conspirare brought my music to life,” he says. “Not only are these some of the finest musicians in the world, they bring a depth of meaning and heart to the music that is beyond words.”