Rens Tienstra – composer, conductor, musicologist, teacher, programmer. His musical practice encompasses the entire treasure trove of musical history, ranging from the oldest known notations to freshly written compositions.
Tienstra’s studies throughout Europe reflect his wide range of interests. He studied Conducting, Composition, Church Music and Gregorian chant at the Conservatories of Amsterdam, The Hague and at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. He holds a Master of Music degree from Amsterdam Conservatory, a Master of Arts degree from Birmingham University and a doctoral degree in Musicology from Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen.
Tienstra directs the choirs of St Bavo Cathedral Haarlem (concurrently teaching at St Bavo Cathedral School), chamber choir Cappella pro Cantibus and the Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk. Previous posts include the Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest, Ensemble Scholares, and that of cantor of the Schola Cantorum Amsterdam.
His compositions, characterised by a contemplative nature, have been played by a large number of performers, including renowned ensembles such as Nieuw Ensemble, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, ASKO|Schönberg-ensemble, Prometheus Ensemble and Hollands Vocaal Ensemble. Equally varied have been the performance venues, ranging from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to theatres, beaches, cathedrals and bell towers throughout Europe.
He regularly lectures on all possible musical topics, with specialisations in contemporary music and Gregorian chant. Publications include studies on the late choral works of Dutch composer Ton de Leeuw, the liturgical music of Bernstein, Reger and Bartolucci, and Dutch saints and manuscripts.