Clausen, K. René

René Clausen (b. 1953) is professor of music at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and has served as conductor of The Concordia Choir since 1986. He is the artistic director of the award-winning Concordia Christmas Concerts, which are frequently featured by PBS stations throughout the nation.


Dr. Clausen is a renowned composer and arranger, having written over 100 commissioned compositions for organizations such as The King’s Singers, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the American Choral Directors Association. He is also a frequent guest conductor, composer-in-residence, clinician, and lecturer. Dr. Clausen has conducted large works including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Brahms’ Requiem, and Britten’s War Requiem. On several occasions, he has conducted at Lincoln Center, including his major work Memorial to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere for SATB divisi choir and wind symphony.

Dr. Clausen graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and received a Master of Music Performance and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana. In 1996, Clausen was named the Paul J. and Eleanor Christiansen Chair in Choral Music at Concordia. Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen is a thirteen-track recording produced by the Kansas City Chorale. This album of compositions by Clausen won two Grammy Awards in 2013, including Best Choral Performance.