Amanda Quist, conductor
Founded in 2004, Westminster Kantorei is an auditioned chamber choir specializing in early and contemporary music. The ensemble, which is composed of approximately 24 graduate and undergraduate students, performs regularly with some of America’s leading specialists in early music, including collaborations with violinists Owen Dalby and Nancy Wilson, the Dark Horse Consort, and more. It was a 2014 national finalist for The American Prize, whose judges stated that Kantorei is “truly outstanding,” and described the choir as having a “finely-measured and delicate balance of voices, and a mastery of stylistic performance practice.” The ensemble has also been invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference and the American Handel Festival.
The ensemble's fall 2015 season includes an invitation as featured guest ensemble for the Reformation 500 Anniversary Concert held at the Princeton University Chapel, and a concert entitled Music of the Reformation, featuring works of Luther, Walter, Byrd, Schütz, and Bach’s Lobet den Herrn and Cantata 80 “Ein Feste Burg.” The spring 2016 season includes a performance of modern works in February, and an April concert featuring French Baroque and English Renaissance gems. Last year the group performed at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Miller Chapel in a concert entitled “Hear Our Prayer” featuring works by J.S. Bach, William Cornysh, Henry Purcell, and Orlando Gibbons, and their spring concert featured Bach’s Cantata 12, Singet Dem Herrn, and Handel’s Dixit Dominus. Recent seasons have also included performances of major works including Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine with original instruments, works by Handel, Byrd and Bach, including his St. Matthew Passion at Avery Fisher Hall, with the Westminster Choir and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Kurt Masur. The ensemble has also performed works by Buxtehude (Membra Jesu nostri), Schütz, Schein, Telemann, Zelenka, Victoria and Palestrina, as well as a concert of Latin American Baroque music.
Westminster Kantorei has also premiered many works by such contemporary composers as Caleb Burhans, Daniel Elder, Doug Helvering, Blake Hensen, Philip Rice, Nathan Jones, Stefan Young and the internationally acclaimed Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström, commissioned for the ensemble by the Soli Deo Gloria Foundation and the Westminster Choir College Department of Sacred Music. Westminster Kantorei, joined by Fuma Sacra and the Institute Festival Orchestra, can be heard on the Albany recording Jon Magnussen: Music for Limon Dances.