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.