Tienstra studied conducting privately and at Amsterdam Conservatoire. An experienced conductor in the classical and contempory repertoire, his current practice encompasses choirs, orchestra's, chant groups, chamber ensembles and the occassional music theatre project.

Always eager for the performance of new music, he has premiered works by (a.o.) Daan Manneke, Wim Henderickx, Bob Zimmerman, Ad Wammes, Geerten Liefting, Valentin Villard, Job Greuter, REINDIER, Wilma Pistorius, Andys Skordis, Ji Youn Kang and his own compositions.

Choral conductor

As choral conductor, Tienstra currently directs Toonkunstkoor Leiden, Schola Cantorum Amsterdam, the Gregoriaanse Kring Amsterdam, Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk, the Schola Cantorum of Ekklesia Leiden and several project choirs; previous positions include St. Bavo's Cathedral Haarlem, chamber choir Cappella pro Cantibus and Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest.

Orchestral/Ensemble conductor

Tienstra works as freelance ensemble and orchestral director.

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. He is regular conductor in the projects of KunstKlank.

Workshop leader

Tienstra regularly gives workshops with all his ensembles and as a freelance choir and ensemble conductor. In this, he has worked with VU-Kamerkoor (Amsterdam), KunstKlank (Noordwijk), La Voix (Haarlem), Pieterskerk-concerten (Utrecht), Illustere Figuren (Leeuwarden) and Amici Cantus Gregoriani (The Hague, Utrecht, Den Bosch, Franeker).

Since 2023, he gives monthly chant workshops in Amsterdam: Gregoriaanse Kring Amsterdam.

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Church musician

Tienstra studied Church Music at Amsterdam Conservatory. His extensive work experience includes:
- the seven choirs of RC St Bavo Cathedral (concurrently teaching at Cathedral School Haarlem);
- ecumenical Iona choir;
- Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk;
- RC parish choir 'Maria ter Zee';
- Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest;
- Schola Cantorum Amsterdam;
- evensong tradition with Cappella pro Cantibus;
- 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.