Joel Rinsema talks big plans for Kantorei

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12min 51sec
Photo: Joel Rinsema thumbnail
Joel Rinsema

Aside from building a relationship with the singers as their new conductor, he also plans to capture Kantorei’s sound in the recording studio and establish them as recording artists.

Rinsema accomplished a similar feat with the Phoenix Chorale, where he is President and CEO as well as Assistant Conductor, helping to lead the ensemble to national recognition, a record deal and two Grammy awards. He’ll relinquish his conducting and singing duties with Phoenix Chorale, enabling him to fly to Denver weekly to rehearse and perform with Kantorei.

He makes his conducting debut with Kantorei in May. They’ll perform a piece by Kim Andre Arnesen and an arrangement of a Dolly Parton song.

He spoke with me Sunday on CPR Classical’s Sacred Classics. Here is the full interview, in which he discusses his background and goals for the group over the next few years. Click the audio link above to hear it, and scroll down to see a video of Rinsema conducting the Phoenix Chorale.

Interview highlights:

On building a relationship with the singers in Kantorei:

“Part of my job in this first year especially is getting to know the Kantorei family. They’re very strongly committed to their art. They’re very strongly committed to themselves as a group, as a community. … It’s going to take some work on both of our parts so we get to know each other and to develop that trust and vulnerability so that when we stop onstage in front of an audience we’re able to take leaps of faith and to trust that we’re there for each other.”

On his goal of developing Kantorei as a recording artist:

"To step into a recording session where you’re pulling in top-flight recording engineers and producers really changes the ensemble. You are under a microscope, and coming out of the recording process, the artistic level - through the 20 hours of being under that microscope - is twice as good coming out the other side."

Here is Rinsema conducting “O Magnum Mysterium” with the Phoenix Chorale:

David Rutherford hosts weekday afternoons from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on CPR Classical, and Sacred Classics from 6 to 10 a.m. Sundays.