Since its foundation in 1966, the Laurenscantorij has been the church choir of the Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Its mission was to put life into church music after World War II, while the church was being rebuilt after it was destroyed in the war.
Today, the Laurenscantorij is an independent ensemble with a threefold function: to perform a Bach cantata every month, to give special concerts and to participate in regular services. From its foundation, the choir has been conducted by Barend Schuurman. Its members are trained amateur singers. The number of concerts has considerably increased over the last decade, reaching some 15 performances a year. These concerts have given a first podium to many young singers, many of whom are renowned soloists today (Nico van der Meel, Robert Holl, Wilke te Brummelstroete).
The Laurenscantorij has sung practically all the major works of J.S. Bach, contemporaries and ancestors like Monteverdi, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and Heinrich Schütz. Its repertoire consists of works ranging from the 16th until the 20th century. Among its performances are the C minor Mass and Requiem by Mozart, the Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms, the Mass and Cantata by Igor Stravinsky, the Songs of Ariel by Martin, and works of contemporary Dutch composers. The Laurenscantorij was been invited to concerts in Leipzig, Dresden, Paris, Brussel, Antwerp and Clermont-Ferrand. It performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Concertgebouw Orchestra.