Loren Pontén, Founder & Artistic Director of Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, has been an active conductor in the Pacific Northwest for over 25 years. A champion of contemporary choral music, he and Opus 7 have commissioned over 25 new choral works, premiered countless works from around the world, the United States, and the Pacific Northwest and Seattle, as well as consistently included time-honored traditional repertoire in their programs.
Passionate about chamber choral music, Pontén formed Opus 7 in 1992 with 7 singers in order to perform a wide-range of music from madrigals to motets and jazz. Soon after founding the group, Pontén turned the group’s focus to the performance of choral works by Northwest composers, and in 2000 instituted an annual Student Choral Composition Awards Program to encourage young composers to create new choral works and to contribute to the expansion of the choral repertoire.
Since 1989 he has been on the faculty of Midsummer Musical Retreat, a week-long festival workshop for adults, where since 2003 he has lead the faculty orchestra and 85-voice chorus. He has also served as an assistant conductor for the Cathedral Choir of St. James in Seattle. He holds a B.A. in Music Education and did graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Washington, intensive Kodály training from James A. Taylor, and Dalcroze Eurythmics training with Herb Henke and Julia Schnebly-Black. He has worked with many of the “Who’s Who” of American & British choral conductors, including: Andrew Bernard, Joan Conlon, Eric Ericson, Paul Hillier, Abraham Kaplan, Andrew Parrott, Lloyd Pfautsch, Robert Scandrett, James Savage, Ward Swingle and Dale Warland.
“In addition to a fascinating program of considerable breadth, Opus 7, capably led by its director Loren Pontén, sang with its customary polish, handsome balance and keen sense of pitch.” — Seattle P-I