The burgeoning of spring brings with it some of the most wondrous music and significant programs of Kent's season. The resonance of Arvo Pärt in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; a celebration of New York's immigrant communities with Rose of the Compass; two major world premieres with Oratorio Society of New York; another concentration of organ performances, in recital and with the New York Philharmonic; and Musica Sacra collaborating with the Philharmonic and New York City Ballet - what a great slice of music in New York these culminating season concerts are! Read on, and buy tickets with the links below:
  • Pärt, Stravinsky, and Kodály with the Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine: Arvo Pärt's Miserere (1989/1992) for five vocal soloists and choir, winds, brass, bass and electric guitars, percussion, and organ, setting text from Psalm 51 with interpolation of the Dies irae, is, in Kent's words, "a piece practically tailor-made for this cathedral - it utilizes spare but intense harmonies along with perfectly-timed rests to fill the space in a unique and mystical way." This rarely-performed piece is joined on the program by three a cappella pieces by Stravinsky as well as Kodály's Laudes Organi for choir and organ. (Tuesday, March 20 at the Cathedral)
  • Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with MSM - Kent leads the Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Chorus and Symphony in a performance of Mendelssohn's "symphony-cantata" Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise). (Thursday, March 22 at Riverside Church)
  • Celebration of New York immigrants with the Cathedral Choir and Rose of the Compass, world premiere of commission by Robert and Victoria Sirota - Completed in 1918, each of the seven Chapels of the Tongues (which encircle the High Altar) of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is dedicated to an immigrant group, among the many that have made New York City the capital of the world: those from Spain, Italy, France, the British Isles, Germany, Scandinavia, and the Eastern Orthodox population of Europe and Asia. Preceded by a tour of the chapels, this program, the seventh collaborative program with Nina Stern's early/world music ensemble Rose of the Compass (oud, kanun, recorder, harp, and percussion) mirrors the chapel tour with music from these communities: choral music of Hindemith, Persichetti, Rebecca Clarke, Tarik O'Regan, F. Melius Christiansen, and Jean Berger, and the world premiere of a commissioned work, Immigrant Songs, by Robert Sirota, with libretto by Victoria Sirota, written for the Cathedral Choir and Rose of the Compass celebrating the melting pot of humanity. (Monday, April 9 at the Cathedral)
  • World premieres with the Oratorio Society of New York: Sanctuary Road (OSNY commission) with music by Paul Moravec and text by Mark Campbell, and Behzad Ranjbaran's We Are One - Sanctuary Road, an oratorio with music by Paul Moravec and text by Mark Campbell (collaborators on the opera The Shining), is an OSNY commission, based upon the accounts of William Still, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, of the slaves he helped liberate. The performance will feature soloists Laquita Mitchell, soprano; Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano; Joshua Blue, tenor; Malcolm Merriweather, baritone; and Dashon Burton, bass. As Mark Campbell says, "There is such vitality in the writings of William Still; his chronicles of resilience, bravery, struggle and, ultimately, joy, demand to be sung." Behzad Ranjbaran's We Are One for chorus and orchestra is a work commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - the composer says, "The text is drawn from different time periods and different cultures, from an ancient Hebrew hymn to the 19th century Spanish text, reflecting on the human desire for respect, love, tolerance, and peace." (Monday, May 7 at Carnegie Hall)
  • On the organ - in recital and with the New York Philharmonic - Kent participates in the celebration of the newly installed organ in St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church Wall Street with an appearance on the "Pipes at One" recital series  (Friday, May 18), and he performs as a member of the New York Philharmonic in Berio's Sinfonia and Strauss's An Alpine Symphony led by Semyon Bychkov. (May 24-26 at David Geffen Hall)
  • Kent directs Musica Sacra in the latest of their collaborations with some of New York's major performing artists: they participate in the New York Philharmonic's "The Art of the Score - Amadeus: Live" (April 11-17 at David Geffen Hall) and the New York City Ballet's performances of the Jerome Robbins ballet Les Noces to Stravinsky's score (May 9, 12, 16 at David Koch Theater).
Looking ahead to summer: note the links below to catch Kent in two summer festivals: Mostly Modern Festival, where he leads two works for chorus and orchestra by Robert Paterson June 17 in Saratoga Springs, NY); and Amherst Early Music Festival, where he leads a choral workshop in music of Machaut, Lassus, and Charpentier (July 8-15 in New London, CT).

And don't forget that all are welcome at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine - year-round, of course, but the Easter season approaches, and with it the glorious music that celebrates it. You can see the service schedule on the Cathedral website here.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7:30 PM
Great Music in a Great Space at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY
Kent Tritle, conductor
Amber Evans, soprano
Daniel Moody, countertenor
Marc Day, tenor
Michael Steinberger, tenor
Joseph Beutel , bass
Raymond Nagem, organ

STRAVINSKY  Bogoroditse Dyevo (Ave Maria)
STRAVINSKY  Otche nash' (Our Father)
STRAVINSKY  Anthem: The Dove Descending Breaks the Air
KODÁLY  Laudes Organi for choir and organ
PÄRT  Miserere
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:30 PM
Riverside Church, New York, NY
Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir
Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Chorus
Manhattan School of Music Symphony
Kent Tritle, conductor*
Ronnie Oliver, conductor

MENDELSSOHN  Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise)*
MOZART  Kyrie in D Minor
MENDELSSOHN  Wie der Hirsch schreit
Monday, April 9, 2018, 7:30 PM
Great Music in a Great Space at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY
Kent Tritle, conductor

An international spectrum of works celebrating the history of immigration in New York, ranging from folk music of Ireland and the Baltic region to choral music of Hindemith, Persichetti, Rebecca Clarke, Tarik O'Regan, F. Melius Christiansen, and Jean Berger, culminating in the world premiere for these combined ensembles of Immigrant Songs by Robert Sirota, libretto by Victoria Sirota. To register for the pre-concert tour of the Chapels of the Tongues, email Stephen Biegner at
Monday, May 7, 2018, 8 PM
Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
Kent Tritle, conductor
Laquita Mitchell, soprano
Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano
Joshua Blue, tenor
Malcolm Merriweather, baritone
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

(World premiere, OSNY commission)
RANJBARAN  We Are One (World premiere)
Friday, May 18, 2018, 1 PM
Pipes at One at St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church Wall Street, New York, NY

MARCHAND  Grand Dialogue
DE GRIGNY  Recit de Tierce en taille
BUXTEHUDE  Praeludium in E, BuxWV 141
MENDELSSOHN  Organ Sonata in A Major, Op. 65
LANGLAIS  Chant de Paix
J.S. BACH  Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548, "The Wedge"
May 24, 25, 26, 2018
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, NY
Semyon Bychkov, conductor
Roomful of Teeth

BERIO  Sinfonia
STRAUSS  An Alpine Symphony
June 17, 2018
Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Kent Tritle, conductor
Larry Pine, narrator
Caitlin Lynch, soprano
Chad Sloan, baritone
Philip Payton, viola
Albany Pro Musica Masterworks Chorus

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  Flos Campi (Flower of the Field), Suite for viola, chorus, and orchestra
ROBERT PATERSON  Walt's America for soprano, baritone, chorus, and orchestra
ROBERT PATERSON  A New Eaarth for narrator, chorus, and orchestra
July 8-15, 2018
Connecticut College, New London, CT
Music of Machaut, Lassus, Charpentier
About Kent Tritle

Kent Tritle is one of America's leading choral conductors. Called "the brightest star in New York's choral music world" by The New York Times, he is Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City; Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, the acclaimed 200-voice volunteer chorus; and Music Director of Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York City. In addition, Kent is Director of Choral Activities and Chair of the Organ Department at the Manhattan School of Music and is a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic.

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Photos: Jennifer Taylor and Joshua South