Tienstra is an acclaimed programmer, regularly creating concert and liturgical programs, either for ensembles, for festivals such as the Dutch Festival of Gregorian Chant and Musica Sacra, or at request.
His programming is characterised by a more reflective (and, also in concert, somewhat liturgical) nature, making use of the entire span of music history. As composer, conductor, church musician, musicologist and teacher, he benefits from an extensive knowledge of repertoire, always eager to help colleagues in programming.
From 2010-2020, Tienstra was ensemble programmer at the concert series Muziek in Jeroen for Noordwijk's majestic Old Jeroen's church.
2013-2018, he programmed the PASSIO concerts in Noordwijk, featuring plainchant and contemporary composition.
Since 2021, he is artistic director of the Dutch Festival of Gregorian Chant (NGF) in the medieval city of Den Bosch.
Requiem & Festival
A recurrent programming since 2013 is that of the All Souls concerts (Oct/Nov) and Festivals of Lessons & Carols (Dec) in the historic Old Willibrord's church in Oegstgeest.
For many years Tienstra works with KunstKlank Foundation (Noordwijk) on the widest variety of projects, most notably music theatre on unconventional locations. His role and contribution per project has always been manifold: arranger, (assistant) conductor, programmer, performer - and sometimes even actor. KunstKlank's aims to make connections between amateurs and professionals, and seeking the potential of every human being and location.
With Cappella pro Cantibus
Cradle songs and lullabies from all around the world (arranged for soloists, choir and instruments) in an intimate setting.
12 songs from Schubert's Winterreise (arranged for choir and chamber ensemble) for music theatre on Noordwijks WW II history.
Music theatre on the life of Isadora Duncan, with vocal and instrumental arrangements of music from Duncan's time.
4th of May Memorial Concerts, with arrangements of works by Bannink, Elgar, Hollander and Piazzolla.
4th of May Memorial Concerts, with compositions by Whitacre, Preisner, Tavener, Delius, Fauré and Tienstra.
4th of May Memorial Concerts, with compositions by Daan Manneke, John Tavener and Tienstra for choir and string orchestra.
Guided tours through the historic town of Noordwijk, ending in music/ theatre performances at secret locations. Editions in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
A-Meezingdag: workshops on specific choral repertoires and vocal training.
Nightly festival with all art genres, including a full night of Gregorian chant by candlelight.
Programming for Musica Sacra Festival 2021, for Sorelle: chant, early polyphony, Hildegard of Bingen and Codex Calixtinus.
Program for Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk based on the music and route descriptions of the Codex Calixtinus.
Chants by Hildegard of Bingen and organ music by Alain, Dupré and Langlais.
Yearly concerts (2013-2018) of Cappella Tenebrae featuring the combination of Passion plainchants and contemporary composition.
The PASSIO concerts have featured chant +
- new cello compositions
- Charles Tournemire's L'Orgue Mystique
- Wim Henderickx' Saeta
- Arvo Pärt's organ works
Vespers of St. Jeroen
'Reconstruction' and yearly performance of vespers for St. Jeroen of Noordwijk, since 2012.
A full day of chant in The Hague's historic Kloosterkerk, featuring chant groups from around the country.
Gregorian Christmas Concert
A yearly tradition with Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk of Christmas chants and medieval instrumental music, since 2013.