Tienstra studied conducting privately with Dick Verhoef and at Amsterdam Conservatoire. An experienced conductor in the classical and contempory repertoire, his current practice encompasses choirs, chant groups, chamber ensembles, orchestra projects and the occassional music theatre project. A recurrent repertoire is the combination of orchestral and choral forces, performing all the major works of the Classical and Romantic repertoire in combination with lesser-known pieces.
Tienstra is ensemble and orchestral director in the projects of KunstKlank. With chamber choir Cappella pro Cantibus, he regularly performs choral/orchestral works.
He has worked with Nederlands Symfonisch Kamerorkest, Nederlands Begeleidingsorkest, Ars Musica, L'Estro Armonico, Wild Blossom Ensemble, UNI Katwijk, student orchestra's of the Amsterdam conservatoire, The Hague conservatoire and Birmingham and Essen universities amongst others.
Summer 2023 will see him as orchestral and choral conductor in KunstKlank's large music theatre production VAAR WEL with Nederlands Symfonisch Kamerorkest, soloists and the KunstKlank theatre choir.
As choral conductor, Tienstra currently directs chamber choir Cappella pro Cantibus, Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk, Schola Cantorum Amsterdam, the Gregoriaanse Kring Amsterdam and the Schola Cantorum of Ekklesia Leiden.
Tienstra studied Church Music at Amsterdam Conservatory. His extensive work experience in a wide range of church music traditions includes: directing the seven choirs of RC St Bavo Cathedral (concurrently teaching at Cathedral School Haarlem), the ecumenical Iona choir, Mass and Office liturgies with Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk, parish practice with RC parish choir 'Maria ter Zee' in Noordwijk and Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest, the Divine Office with Schola Cantorum Amsterdam, an Evensong tradition with Cappella pro Cantibus and the ecumenical Schola Cantorum of Ekklesia Leiden (Hooglandse Kerk).
The video shows an interview (in Dutch) on church music at St Peter's Square in Rome, at the end of a concert tour of St. Bavo's cathedral choir.
"Workshops are a great way of introducing those interested the musical treasure trove, by tackling those elements that can make them seem daunting at first - be it one of the choral classics, newly written music, a medieval manuscript or unknown masterpieces."
Tienstra regularly gives workshops with all his ensembles, but also as a freelance choir and ensemble conductor, for organisations such as VU-Kamerkoor (Amsterdam), KunstKlank (Noordwijk), La Voix (Haarlem), Pieterskerkconcerten (Utrecht), Illustere Figuren (Leeuwarden) and Amici Cantus Gregoriani (The Hague, Utrecht, Den Bosch, Franeker).
A new initiative for monthly chant workshops in Amsterdam started April 2023: Gregoriaanse Kring Amsterdam.