St. Joseph choral director Theimer directs Kantorei holiday concerts
Two holiday concerts will be performed by Kantorei, the Minnesota-based a cappella choral ensemble led by Axel Theimer, professor of music at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. Three other Central Minnesota residents sing in the choir: Amanda Culver, Avon, and Kayla Ward and Marlene Dingmann, Cold Spring.
“Celebrating the Mystery: Choral Music of Advent and Christmas” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at St. Joseph Parish, 8701 36th Ave. N. in New Hope, and at 4 p.m Sunday, Dec. 15 at the St. Paul Seminary, Chapel of St. Mary, 2260 Summit Ave. in St. Paul.
Kantorei’s performances combine the ancient singing traditions of Europe with modern choral works and hymn favorites, weaving an experience audience members have called “intimate, joyous, peaceful and reverent.”
The holiday program includes music by Minnesota composers Wayne Kivell and James Callahan, plus works of Francis Poulenc, Giuseppe Verdi, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Michael Haydn, Samuel Scheidt, Bob Chilcott, and Grayston Ives. Choral hymn favorites and carols sung with the audience will round out the event.
Theimer, a native of Tirol, Austria and alumnus of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, has led Kantorei since it was founded in 1988.
“Our ensemble of about 40 voices pursues the highest standard of musical expression and artistry,” Theimer said. “During this hectic time of year, our concerts offer a musical oasis of peace and joy to audience members.”
Future Kantorei events include a Gala and Silent Auction Feb. 8 and spring performances, “How Can I Keep from Singing,” May 3 and 4.
For tickets, more information and group sales, please visit www.kantorei.net/tickets or call 612-21-SINGS (612-217-4647). To encourage youth participation in choral activities, Kantorei provides free rush tickets to high-school students.
Directed since 1988 by Axel Theimer, Kantorei is one of the premier choral ensembles in Minnesota. Kantorei’s 40 singers have set a standard in Minnesota for rich and effortless choral sound. The choir’s approach to singing – with an integral focus on vocal freedom and health – allows the singers to communicate emotional and expressive content of music and text with natural beauty. Kantorei’s special reputation for interpreting European choral music – including seldom-heard Romantic pieces, sacred masterworks, and Austrian and German folk melodies – is drawn from the heritage of founder Axel Theimer. The ensemble’s website is www.kantorei.net.