The final performance of our 2012-2013 season is a special one. Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Larson will lead his final performances with Kantorei in an emotional program featuring some of our very favorite a capella works over the years from some of the world's most prolific composers, including Eric Whitacre, Rene Clausen, and Morten Lauridsen. Whitacre's serene and powerful “Alleluia”, one of his latest works, is a magnificent setting of the single word. The beautiful “Amor de mi alma” by Z. Randall Stroope and "Miserere Mei, Deus" by Denver’s own Bill Erickson (formerly of Cherry Creek High School) will also be featured.
Kantorei members pay tribute to Dick Larson and discuss what he has meant to them and to the choir
And of course, a send-off concert for Mr. Larson certainly wouldn't be complete without some of our favorite spirituals, including the late Moses Hogan's "You Better Min' How You Talk" and Stacey V. Gibbs' "Hold On!" Join us for what is sure to be a memorable finale to the 2012-13 season, as we say goodbye to our founding Conductor and Artistic Director, Richard Larson.
Kantorei Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Larson has announced that he will step down after 16 years of leading the ensemble. Larson, director of Kantorei since its inception in 1997, will complete the choir's 2012-2013 concert season and conduct his final concert as Artistic Director on May 18th, 2013.
Larson has been involved in community music and music education for over thirty years. Formerly the Fine Arts Department Chair and Director of Choral Activities at Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado, Mr. Larson began his choral career as Music Department Coordinator and choral music educator in Austin, Minnesota, where he also served as music director of the 80 member Austin Symphony Orchestra. From 1982 to 1995, Mr. Larson led the choral and orchestral music programs at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado. Under his direction, the Cherry Creek Meistersingers performed at the 1988 and 1994 regional American Choral Directors Association conventions, the 1989 national convention, and the 1990 National MENC in Washington, DC.
Named "Choral Conductor of the Year," in 1989 by the Colorado ACDA, Mr. Larson taught music both at the University of Northern Colorado and at Metropolitan State College in Denver. In 2006, Mr. Larson was honored by Luther College as the first ever recipient of the Weston H. Noble award recognizing excellence in the field of choral music.
Under his direction, Kantorei has grown to become an ensemble recognized nationally for its merits. Mr. Larson and Kantorei have performed by invitation at the 2002 Southwestern regional ACDA convention, the 2003 National ACDA convention in New York, the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention and the 2010 Southwestern Regional ACDA convention. In March 2011, Kantorei performed at its second National ACDA Convention, held in Chicago. The performance marked Larson’s third invitation to the ACDA National Convention, a landmark achievement in the world of choral conducting.
Kantorei will honor Larson's historic conducting career in its final concert series of the 2012-2013 season, to be held May 17th and 18th in Denver, including receptions following each concert. In the final concert, the choir will invite former members to the stage for a performance of Gustav Holst's "Nunc Dimittis", a signature piece for the choir for several years.
Kantorei will begin a search for Larson's successor as Artistic Director and Conductor of the ensemble following the completion of its current concert season.
In a wonderful afternoon performance of the serene and beautiful 'Requiem' by Maurice Duruflé, Kantorei shared a special concert with audience members all in support of Denver's own The Butterfly Program.
The Butterfly Program, sponsored by The Children's Hospital and Porter Hospice of Centura Health at Home, provides comprehensive pediatric palliative care, serving families with children who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Audience members and Kantorei members alike honored passed loved ones during the concert by writing a name down on a paper butterfly, all of which decorated the sanctuary throughout the performance. It truly provided a unique spiritual way for us and our audience to connect to this beautiful piece, and Kantorei was humbled to support such an important organization.
Kantorei celebrated the holidays by going Southwest! In December, three wonderful holiday audiences enjoyed Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies – Christmas in the Southwest, a collage of Spanish, Catalonian, Andalusian and Mexican carols accompanied by traditional folk instruments associated with Hispanic carols. Other fantastic and season-warming traditional carols and anthems from around the world were performed, and there was truly something for everyone.
We sincerely thank our wonderful audiences that attended our holiday concerts – it was our joy to perform and share a little bit of the heart-warming holiday season with you!
On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, Coloradans came together again to raise millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations like ours. An incredible $15.7 million was distributed to Colorado nonprofits. Kantorei was excited to participate for the first time this year and cannot thank you, our supporters, enough for your charitable giving!
Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day is an annual event that asks you to give to your favorite charities through the website GivingFirst.org, an online giving resource featuring every nonprofit participating in Colorado Gives Day. On this website we share our goals, accomplishments and much more. While the focus occurs on Colorado Gives Day, the site can accept donations year round. We sincerely thank you for your support of Kantorei and the choral arts in Denver!
Walden Pond marked the opening of Kantorei’s 2012-2013 season as we returned with the masterwork of the same name by American composer Dominic Argento. Walden Pond, a favorite choral work of Kantorei and director Richard Larson, is a serene yet complex setting of Thoreau's famous texts, with the choir accompanied by harp and multiple solo celli. Written in 1996 for the Dale Warland Singers, Argento notes that he "takes a certain amount of pride in the texts I have chosen to set to music over the years but of them all, Walden Pond is a special case."
Also featured in the concert was the world-premier of Remembered Light from former Kantorei composer-in-residence Eric William Barnum. The work, commissioned by Kantorei with grant assistance from the Lone Tree Arts Commission, features a gentle and haunting text by American poet Clark Ashton Smith.
In August 2012, Kantorei had the distinct pleasure of joining the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Colorado Children's Chorale, and renowned conductor Robert Spano for the Aspen Music Festival's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8.
Called the "Symphony of a Thousand," the work calls for a very large orchestra (double the size of a traditional orchestra), two full SATB choirs, a children's choir, and eight soloists. Kantorei was honored to be a part of the incredible event, which closed the 2012 Aspen Music Festival and was broadcast live on Colorado Public Radio. For pictures and comments from the concert weekend, please visit our Facebook page.
In their review, The Aspen Times called the results of the collaboration "majestic" and "hair-raising". (Read the full review from The Aspen Times). Most certainly, we count the performance one of most memorable we've had the good fortune to be a part of, and sincerely thank the Aspen Music Festival and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus for their support of and partnership with Kantorei.