Kantorei Names New Artistic Director

Joel M. Rinsema to take artistic helm of Denver’s premier choral ensemble, will continue as President & CEO of Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale


DENVER, Colorado (March 05, 2014) – Denver’s premier choral ensemble, Kantorei, announced today that it has named Joel M. Rinsema as its new Artistic Director. The national search was led by a 9-person committee that included several founding members of the ensemble, and was the result of the retirement of founding Artistic Director Richard Larson.

“The search committee is wholly excited by the many strengths that Joel will bring to the role of Artistic Director of Kantorei,” said Search Committee Chair, Kevin Gunnerson. “We were impressed with Joel’s artistic merits and found him to be a natural fit into the community spirit that makes Kantorei so unique. We are thrilled to have him leading the ensemble into the future."

Rinsema has served as the Assistant Conductor and President & CEO of the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale for the past 14 years. He first joined the Phoenix Chorale as a singer in 1992. A frequent featured tenor soloist, Rinsema has appeared on all of the Phoenix Chorale recordings, which have earned the Phoenix Chorale a total of eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins. The Phoenix Chorale is led by internationally-renowned Conductor & Artistic Director Charles Bruffy. As Assistant Conductor, Rinsema assisted in all aspects of artistic planning and leadership, leading rehearsals and conducting the Chorale in Bruffy’s absence, and helping program the repertoire each season.

“It is an honor to be offered this opportunity, and I am excited to be leading a choral ensemble of Kantorei’s artistic caliber,” said Rinsema. “They have experienced great artistic success over the past 17 years, and I look forward to building on that success to create a bright future for the entire organization.”

Kantorei established itself as one of the nation’s leading choral ensembles after performing as an auditioned choir for the 2003 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association at Carnegie Hall in New York City. More recently, Kantorei has been featured in several Regional and National conferences, including the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention in Denver and the 2011 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, which included a featured performance at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, IL.

“We see in Joel an ability to take Kantorei to the next level artistically while using his vast experience to help us mature as an organization,” said Kantorei Board President, Brad Larson. “We are extremely excited to have him on board.”

Rinsema will commute weekly from Phoenix where he will continue in his role as President & CEO of the Phoenix Chorale, but relinquish his artistic duties as Assistant Conductor and singer for the ensemble. Kantorei’s contract with Rinsema is for an initial three-year term, taking him through the ensemble’s 20th Anniversary Season in 2017. His debut with Kantorei will be on their May 2014 concerts, and he will commence his position effective July 1, 2014.

Get News