Montopolis performances have been called “stunning and “transcendent” by the Austin Chronicle, and the group’s various incarnations have accrued critical acclaim and a devoted following over the years. Their programs are audience-engaging, multi-media events that combine musical performance with film, photography, animation, and sometimes academic lectures on esoteric topics.
The Montopolis musicians are some of the finest that Austin has to offer, including members of the Austin Symphony, acclaimed indie rock group Okkervil River, Tosca String Quartet, and the Mood Illusion. Though there are many contributors, the current touring ensemble includes pianist Justin Sherburn, violinist Leigh Mahoney, violist Leah Nelson, cellist Sara Nelson, and pedal steel guitarists Bob Hoffnar and Brian Cassidy.
Justin Sherburn is a composer, producer, and musical director. He received the Austin’s Critic’s Table 2015 Excellence in Composition Award for his work with Brent Baldwin and the Convergence vocal ensemble. His scores for the films “Above All Else” and “Yakona” premiered at the SXSW film festival in the spring of 2014 and continue to show at festivals across the nation. His music can be heard on PBS programming and appears regularly on Austin radio station KUT. Justin has composed for television, theater, and dance performances and is the resident composer for Austin’s Troublepuppet Theater Company. He arranged the “Sanctus” Movement of Mozart’s Requiem for the Golden Hornet Project’s presentation “Mozart Undead” in spring 2014.