The composition, performance and listening experience of Tienstra's compositions have parallels to the dynamics of the North Sea (the composer being born and raised at the seaside) as well as the monastic practice of lectio divina, an approach of deep contemplative reading: a particular musical idea is ruminated upon, while shedding new light on each of its reiterations, gradually filtering towards a musical point vierge (in the wording of Thomas Merton).

Tienstra studied at Amsterdam Conservatoire (2006-2013) with Daan Manneke, Willem Jeths and Wim Henderickx, graduating with a Masters in Composition. His works are published by Donemus Publishing.

Listen to: Recite, for ensemble | Three Chants, for cello | Alba, for harp and organ |
Rituale, for ensemble | Still, for electronics | Schokland Prayer, for accordeon

Chamber (instrumental)

Created with Sketch.

Motetten (2009)

for ensemble (fl+picc, ob, cl, hrn, perc, pf, vln, vla, vlc, cb)

written for the Prometheus Ensemble (BE)

fp: 12-05-09, by Prometheus Ensemble, cond. Bart Bouckaerts; deSingel, Antwerp


Chorus (2010)

for piano

fp: 06-05-2010 by Tobias Borsboom; Sweelinckzaal, Conservatory of Amsterdam

Canti Spezzati (2010)

for choir, two instrumental groups and continuo group (all spatially placed)

commissioned by Stichting Noorderkerkconcerten, Amsterdam

t: selections from the Song of Songs (Vulgate, King James Version) edited by Em Angevaare and RT

fp: 18-09-2010, by Hollands Vocaal Ensemble, ensemble Barocco Locco, cond. Fokko Oldenhuis; Noorderkerk Amsterdam

Passaggio (2010); Ommaggio a Sweelinck | listen

for saxophone quartet

written at the request of and dedicated to the Berlage Saxophone Quartet; 

fp: 19-06-2011 by Boreas Saxophone Quartet, cond. RT; Haitinkzaal, Conservatory of Amsterdam


Rituale (2011) | listen

for ensemble (fl, ob+ca, cl+bcl, mand, gt, hrp, pf, perc, vl, vla, vlc, db)

witten for and dedicated to the Nieuw Ensemble, 

homage to the voices of Pino de Vittorio, Lucilla Galeazzi and Marco Beasley

fp: 01-06-2011 by the Nieuw Ensemble, cond. Lucas Vis; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


Seascapes (2011 rev. 2012)

for viola and electronics

written in collaboration with Ji Youn Kang, Tape Interlude by Ji Youn Kang

written for Katya Woloshyn, dedicated to Liesbeth Seegers

fp: 23-06-2011 by Katya Woloshyn (viola) , Ji Youn Kang,  Kassen Oud (electronics); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

fp rev. version: 19-02-2012 by Katya Woloshyn (viola) , Ji Youn Kang (electronics); Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk


Facing Night (2012) | listen

for ensemble (ob, cl, b, hrn, vln, vla, vlc, db)

written for the ASKO|Schönberg ensemble

fp: 20-04-2012, by ASKO|Schönberg ensemble, cond. Bas Wiegers; Centre for World Music and Dance, Rotterdam


Three chants (2012) | listen | buy score 

for cello solo

fp: 17-05-2013, by Wilma Pistorius; Bernard Haitink Hall, Conservatory of Amsterdam.


Recite (2012) | listen

for ensemble (fl, cl, b, tr, trmb, pf, vl, vlc, db) 

written for Ensemble 10/10

fp: 14-11-2012, by Ensemble 10/10, cond. Clark Rundell; The Cornerstone, Liverpool


Pleurants (Meditations on the Dijon Mourners) (2021) | buy score
for viola

Tenderness - Two sketches after Jan Mankes
(2022) | buy score 

for piano

Schokland Prayer (“They that go down to the sea in ships…”) (2022) | listen
for accordion
fp: 10-07-2022, by Marko Kassl; Museum Schokland

Tears (Meditation on The Lamentation of Christ by Rogier van der Weyden (and studio)) (2024) buy score 
for viola

Vocal (solo)

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Weromkommer yn it ûnlân (2007/08) | listen

for soprano solo

written at the request of and dedicated to Francine Vis

t: Abe de Vries 

fp: 08-05-08, by Martha Bosch; Sweelinckzaal, Amsterdam


Petite louange (2021) | buy score 

version for soprano and organ 

for Bobbie Blommesteijn
t: Bible (Song of Songs / Psalm 57)

Petite louange (2021) | buy score 

version for soprano and string quartet

for Bobbie Blommesteijn 

Do not go gentle into that good night (2023) | buy score 

for voice (countertenor) and piano or organ
for Benjamin Wenzelberg
t: Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night (2023) | buy score 

for voice (countertenor) and string trio
for Benjamin Wenzelberg
t: Dylan Thomas 


Created with Sketch.

Canticle of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis) (2008) | listen

for 2 soprano's and alto or six-part women’s ensemble a cappella

dedicated to Ella Rombouts

t: Bible
fp: 02-11-08, by Ensemble Vocale Amsterdam, cond. Hannah Rijken; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam


Ave Maria (2008)

for SATB choir a cappella

dedicated to the Maria ter Zee choir, Noordwijk

fp: 25-12-08, by Maria ter Zee-koor, cond. RT; Maria ter Zee Kerk, Noordwijk


Ave Maria (arr. 2011)

for women’s choir SSA a cappella

arranged at the request of Herma van Piekeren

fp: 22-12-2011, by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk, cond. RT; Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk


After grief (2012)

for chorus a cappella with optional melodic instrument

fp: 14-03-2013, by project choir of the Amsterdam Conservatoire, cond. Lodewijk van der Ree; Sweelinckzaal, Amsterdam


O Rex Gentium (2013)

for chorus SATB (with divisi) a cappella

dedicated to Cappella pro Cantibus
t: O-antiphon

fp: 08-12-2013, by Cappella pro Cantibus, cond. RT; Groene Kerkje, Oegstgeest


All through the night (2013)

a carol (for unspecified chorus)

commissioned by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk for their annual Carol concert
t: Welsh carol

fp: by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk, cond. Herma van Piekeren; Old Jeroen's church, Noordwijk


Missa Brevis a 3 (2017) | buy score

for SMsA/TBarB a cappella

in memoriam Jan Valkestijn

fp: 24-09-2017, by Cappella Puellarum, cond. Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem (fp RT: 14-01-2018)


Prayer of John Henry Newman (2017 rev. 2018) | buy score 

for chorus SATB (with divisi) and organ

t: John Henry Newman
fp: ?-10-2018, by Cathedral Choir St Bavo, cond. RT, organ Ton van Eck; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem


The desert’s blossoming (2019) | buy score 

for chorus SATB (with divisi) a cappella
t: Bible (Isaiah 35)

for Cappella pro Cantibus, Oegstgeest


Ubi caritas / Ecce quam bonum (2019)

for schola (chant group), tenor instrument and organ

commissioned by and dedicated to the Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest for their 80th jubilee

fp: 20-09-2020, by Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest, cond. Franz Straatman, St Willibrord church, Oegstgeest


Abide with me (2020) | buy score 

for chorus SATB a cappella
t:  Henry Francis Lyte


Prayer of Nicholas of Flüe (2020) | buy score

for chorus SATB a cappella

dedicated to the brothers of Einsiedeln Abbey
t: Nicholas of Flüe


Set me as a seal upon thine heart (2020) | buy score

for quartet (SSAA, TTBB or eight-part doubling SSAATTBB) a cappella

for vocal quartet ‘Sorelle’
t: Bible (Song of Songs)

Portico of Glory (Santiago Te Deum) (2020) | buy score 

for chorus SMsATBarB and organ

for Santiago Cathedral, in honorem Sancti Iacobi, Matthaei magistri recordatus 

If ye love me (2021)  | buy score 

for chorus SATB a cappella
for Cappella Nicolai (Giles Brightwell, cond.)
t: Bible (John)

Two memorials (2021) | buy score 

I. At a calvary near the Ancre
II. They shall grow not old
t: Wilfred Owen

Magnificat | Nunc Dimittis
(2021) | buy score 

for mixed choir and organ
in memoriam Michael Hedley

When David heard (2022) |  buy score


dedicated to Graces & Voices
t: Bible (2 Samuel 18:33)
fp: 11-06-2022, by Graces & Voices; Catharinakerk, Den Bosch

Da Pacem (arrangement of When David heard) (2022) | publ. in Gregoriusblad Sept. '23 

written at the request of the Auroville Renaissance Cappella (Eugeen Liven d'Abelardo, cond.)
fp: 24/25/26-02, by ARC; Pitanga, Auroville, India

Psaume 122 (2023) | buy score

for chorus SATB a cappella
commissioned by Cappella pro Cantibus Oegstgeest, in celebration of the choir’s 50th anniversary

fp: 22-04-2023, by CpC, cond. RT; Regenboogkerk, Oegstgeest

Alleluia (companion piece for a chant verse) (2023) | buy score 

for SMA or TBarB
for Graces & Voices
fp: 9-03-2024, by Graces & Voices; Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche (Austria)

A Clear Midnight (2023)
for chorus SATB a cappella
written for the Overijssels Kamerkoor (Eugène van Boheemen, cond.)
t: Walt Whitman

Vues des Anges (2023)
for double quartet SSAATTBB or chorus a cappella
written at the request of Bobbie Blommesteijn for Lemnis Ensemble
t: Rainer Maria Rilke

Why fumeth in fight (canon after T. Tallis) (2024)
arr. for chorus SSAATTBB
for Ensemble TIEN
fp: 13&14-04-2024, by Ensemble TIEN, cond. Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen; Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam

These are my tidings (2024)
for SA and harp
written at the request of Victoria Davies
t: translation of gloss in Liber Hymnorum (Ireland)

Petite Louange (arr. 2024)
version for SMA and harp
for Papagena and Victoria Davies
t: Song of Songs


Created with Sketch.

Still (2014) | listen

commissioned by KunstKlank Foundation for their 2014 4th of May Memorials 

fp: 03-05-2014, Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk (installation by Ji Youn Kang) 


Created with Sketch.

Diptych for carillon (2007 rev. 2011) | buy score

I. Lamento; II. Toccata.

Awarded with the Award for Composer under 30, International Composition Contest Rhenen (NL)

fp: 24-05-08, by Roy Kroezen; carillon of St Cunera's tower, Rhenen


Da pacem, Domine (2020) | free download

I. Passacaglia; II. Fuga

written for the Beiaard-Estafette 75 jaar Bevrijding 2020

fp: 09-05-2020, by Gerda Peters; carillon of Oude Kerk, Voorburg


Airborne (Variations on a theme by Britten) (2020) | free download 

for Bob van der Linde


Created with Sketch.

Gearslach (2010) | listen

for pan pipes and organ 

written at the request of and dedicated to Henske van der Weerd 

fp: 23-03-11, by Henske van der Weerd, panpipes and Michal Bialko, organ; Verschueren-organ of the Orgelpark Amsterdam 


Gearslach (arr. 2010) 

for trumpet and organ 

arranged at the request of Kirstin Gramlich 

fp: Gaudeamus Music Week 2011, by Kirstin Gramlich, organ and Christoph Barth, trumpet; Orgelpark Amsterdam 


Alba (2011) 

fp: ?-2011, by RT, organ; St. Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk 


Alba (2011 arr. 2011/2012) | listen

version for harp and organ 

fp: 07-06-2012, by Andrea Voets, harp and Jaap Zwart, organ; Orgelpark Amsterdam 


Clearing (Portrait, Still life and Landscape) (2012) 

for 2 organs 

fp: 18-05-2013, by Mira Cieślak and RT, organs; Orgelpark Amsterdam 


Cortèges (2014-2015) | listen to (X)

I; II (‘Alleluia’); III (‘Agnus Dei’); IV (IIb); V (‘Quies’); VI; VII; VIIIa; VIIIb; IX (‘In manus tuas’); X (‘Terribilis est locus iste’); XI (‘Nocturne’); XII (‘Nunc dimittis’) 

for Theo Visser

Patmos (2023) | buy score
for St. John's Cathedral, 's-Hertogenbosch
fp: 22-10-2023, by Cor de Jong; Oude Kerk, Soest


Created with Sketch.

La sérénade interrompue (C. Debussy) (arr. 2011) | listen

arr. for the Nieuw Ensemble 

fp: 08-04-2011 by Nieuw Ensemble, cond. Bas Wiegers; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 

Five pieces (D. Shostakovich) (arr. 2012)
for string quartet

Divertimento (I. Stravinsky) (arr. 2012)
for violin, alto saxophone and harp, commissioned by Trio42

Oorlog (H. Bannink) (arr. 2016) 

arr. for chamber orchestra, commissioned by KunstKlank Foundation for their 2016 4th of May Memorials 

fp: 01-05-2016, Oude Jeroenskerk, Noordwijk 

Ao Longe o Mar (Madredeus) (orch. 2017) 

orch. for baritone soloist and string orchestra 

fp: 14-07-2017, by Henk Neeven, KunstKlank project orchestra; KunstKlank Theatre, Noordwijk 

I Love Xmas (misc.) (orch. 2017)
orch. of 20 Christmas classics for voices and full symphonic orchestra
fp: 21-12-2017, by Heemsteeds Philharmonisch Orkest (cond. Dick Verhoef) and Eglentier Theatre Company; Philharmonie, Haarlem

Doubt (M. Glinka) (orch. 2019) 

orch. for baritone and cello soloists and string orchestra 

fp: 03-2019, by Henk Neeven, KunstKlank project orchestra; ‘Sancta Maria’, Noordwijkerhout 


Winterreise (F. Schubert) (arr. 2019) 

arr. of 12 songs from Schubert’s Winterreise for choir, soloists, violin, horn, cello and accordeon 

fp: 06-03-2020, by KunstKlank Foundation project ensemble, Winterreis location theatre in Buijze Pers, Noordwijk 

Children's Corner (C. Debussy) (orch. 2011)

for symphonic chamber orchestra

Banalités (F. Poulenc) (orch. 2022)
orch. for voice and symphonic chamber orchestra

Surusoitto (Funeral music) (from 2 pieces for organ op. 111) (J. Sibelius) (orch. 2022)
for symphonic orchestra

Christmas Lullaby (B. Streisand) (arr. 2022)
arr. for voice and string orchestra
fp: 21-12-2022, by Kleynkoor Academy and Ensemble

Waldesnacht (J. Brahms) (arr. 2024)
arr. for double chorus TB+SA and cello solo
for Ensemble TIEN


Created with Sketch.

Openingsmuziek voor een toren (Opening Music for a Tower) (2009) 

for SSAA choir and optional church bells 

written for the opening festivities of the tower of the Old St. Jeroen Church, Noordwijk 

t: RT 

fp: 16-05-09, by Kleijnkoor Noordwijk; Tower of St. Jeroen Church, Noordwijk 


Marco Polo Project: location opera for 'The Little Thai Prince' restaurant (2008) 

for 2 mezzo soprano's (and background music) 

t: J.J. Slauerhoff, R. Tienstra, Ján Barta, Judith v.d. Dool, Floor v.d. Sluis 

fp: 16- en 23-11-08, by Judith v.d. Dool and Floor v.d. Sluis; 'The Little Thai Prince' restaurant 


In ripieno (2009) 

for SATB soloists and tape 

written for the 20 year Jubilee celebrations of the Fall of the Berlin Wall 

t: Paul Wolters / RT 

fp: 4- and 8-11-2009, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, by Kirila Kraal, Ella Rombouts, Oliver Rault and Rick Zwart / pre-performances by Amsterdams Studenten Koor and Utrechtse Studenten Cantorij 


St Martin’s Mass (2012) 

(ordinarium for the Mass according to the rite of the Old Catholic Church, for single voice and organ accompaniment) 

commissioned by the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands 

fp: 21-04-2013, by Choir and congregation of the Old Catholic St Gertrude Cathedral; Old Catholic St Gertrude Cathedral, Utrecht 


St Martin’s Mass (arr. 2013) 

(ordinarium for the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church, for single voice and organ accompaniment; arr. for SATB choir and organ: 2014) 

arranged at the request of RC St Willibrd's church, Oegstgeest 


Kinderen van de Zaan (2013) 

children's opera in 4 parts: songs by Aga de Wit and Herma van Piekeren; arrangements, orchestration, soundscapes by RT. 

fp: 04-2013; Zaans Museum, Zaandam 

Help, mijn stem is weg! (2017) 

a mini-opera for young children, after an idea by Aga de Wit and Herma van Piekeren; arrangements and soudscapes by RT. 

fp: 08-02-2018, at the Cultuurcafé (Van der Meer Bookshop), Noordwijk 


Psalm 22 (chant) (2018) 

fp: 25-03-2018 (Palm Sunday), by Bavo-cantorij, cond. Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen, organ Ton van Eck; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem 


Psalm 42 (chant) (2019) 

fp: 20-04-2019 (Easter Vigil), by Cathedral Choir St Bavo, cond. RT, organ Ton van Eck; Cathedral Basilica of St Bavo, Haarlem

Collaborations (selection)

Created with Sketch.

ASKO|Schönberg (Facing Night); Nieuw Ensemble (Rituale); Ensemble 10/10 (Recite); Hollands Vocaal Ensemble / Barocco Locco / Noorderkerkconcerten (Canti Spezzati); Prometheus Ensemble (Motetten); Cathedral Choir Haarlem (various works); Berlage Quartet (Passaggio); Black Pencil (Schokland Prayer); Overijssels Kamerkoor (A clear midnight); Ensemble Vocale Amsterdam (Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis); N8Zangers / Museumnacht Amsterdam (Due Notturne); Utrechtse Studentencantorij (In ripieno); Graces & Voices (various works); Katya Woloshyn / Ji Youn Kang (Seascapes); Bobbie Blommesteijn (Petite Louange; Vues des Anges); Henske v.d. Weerd (Gearslach); Cappella pro Cantibus (various works); Maria ter Zee choir Noordwijk (Ave Maria); KunstKlank (various works); Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands (St. Martin's Mass); Wilma Pistorius (Three chants); Sorelle (Set me as a seal upon thine heart); Andrea Voets (Alba); Gregoriusblad (various works); Gerda Peters (Da pacem, Domine); Auroville Renaissance Singers (Da pacem), Papagena (Petite Louange, These are my tidings).