René Clausen (b.1953), Conductor & Composer
René Clausen's has served as conductor of The Concordia Choir of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota since 1986. Additionally, he is the artistic director of the award-winning Concordia Christmas Concerts, which are frequently featured by PBS stations throughout the nation.
René Clausen is a well-known composer. His compositional style is varied and eclectic, ranging from works appropriate for high school and church choirs to more technically-demanding compositions for college and professional choirs. Interested in composing for various media, Clausen's compositional interests include works for the stage, solo voice, film and video composition, choral/orchestral compositions and arrangements, as well as works for orchestra and wind ensemble. He regularly composes on a commission basis, and is a frequent guest conductor and composer-in-residence on a national basis.
All of René Clausen's choral compositions and arrangements are published exclusively through Mark Foster Music Company (a division of Shawnee Press) in The René Clausen Choral Series.
In addition to choral conducting, Dr. Clausen is becoming increasingly well-known as a guest conductor of the major choral/ orchestral literature, in addition to orchestral conducting. At Carnegie Hall he has guest conducted the Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, Mozart Requiem and Mass in C minor, together with the New York premiere of three of his own works, Gloria (in three movements), Whispers of Heavenly Death, with text by Walt Whitman, and Communion, with text by George Macdonald. Other major choral/orchestral works he has conducted include the Poulenc Gloria, Vaughan Williams Hodie, Beethoven Mass in C Major and Choral Fantasy, and Fauré Requiem..
In the summer of 1998, Dr. Clausen established the first René Clausen Choral School held on the campus of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, in which sixty-three participants from twenty-seven states participated. Much more than a reading workshop, the choral school is an intensive, five-day program for choral conductors focusing on conducting and rehearsal technique, performance practice issues, elements of choral ensemble, tonal development, as well as daily reading sessions of new music.
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