Richard Larson Bids Farewell with “This is the Day”

In a significant and emotional farewell performance, former Kantorei Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Larson led his final performances with Kantorei May 17th and 18th in Denver. The concert featured a heart-felt program featuring several of Larson’s personal favorite choral works over the years, works written by some of his closest friends and the world’s most prolific composers, including Eric Whitacre, René Clausen, and Morten Lauridsen. Highlights from the program included two of Clausen’s pieces: Tonight, Eternity Alone and Prayer; Whitacre’s Alleluia; and Lauridsen’s La Rose Complete and Dirait-On.

Kantorei members pay tribute to Dick Larson and discuss what he has meant to them and to the choir

Throughout the concert, Kantorei members old and new spoke about Larson and the enduring legacy he leaves for the choir. Several of Larson’s peers in the choral music world shared their well wishes remotely, with letters read from René Clausen, Eric Whitacre, Philip Brunelle, Anton Armstrong, Simon Carrington, Bradley Ellingboe, and Eric William Barnum.

At the conclusion of the performance, Larson was named Artistic Director and Conductor Emeritus by the Kantorei Board of Directors. Kantorei alumni were invited to the stage, and Larson completed his tenure by conducting Gustav Holst’s Nunc Dimittis, a signature piece for the group for several years.

To our founding conductor, Richard Larson: thank you for endless passion and tireless dedication to making music at the highest levels. You have made Kantorei the ensemble and family it is today. We will miss you dearly, and count ourselves lucky to continue to call you friend and mentor.