War Requiem is Benjamin Britten's searing anti-war statement and choral masterpiece. In the third annual collaboration between the Oratorio Society of New York and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Symphonic Chorus, and Chamber Choir at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Kent leads two performances of this work on April 6 & 7 featuring more than 350 choral singers, including the Cathedral Choristers; full symphony orchestra; organ; and soloists Susanna Phillips, John Matthew Myers, and Matthew Worth. The traditional text of the Requiem Mass is interspersed with the poetry of Wilfred Owen, who died in World War I a century ago, woven with what Kent calls "a musical context that rises from the ashes and returns to the skies."

Purchase tickets now for April 6 or April 7.

Holy Week follows right after - on Good Friday evening, April 14, join Kent at the Cathedral for Choral Lamentations, at which two haunting works, Arvo Pärt's Stabat Mater and Bach's cantata Ich habe genug, will be performed by soloists from the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra. Admission is free. For more information on this and other Holy Week services, visit the Cathedral website, and you can also find the music being performed at services through Trinity Sunday in June here.

And for a grand culmination of the season proper, Kent is at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York for Bach's Mass in B Minor, with soloists Leslie Fagan, Christopher Ainsley, Lawrence Jones, and Sidney Outlaw on May 8.

Also not to miss:
  • The Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition is the only competition dedicated solely to the art of oratorio singing. You can be there on Saturday, April 8, at 1:30 PM, when Kent and his fellow judges will hear the finalists and award the prizes. Last year's winner, countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, was a soloist at December's OSNY Messiah!
  • On May 17, Musica Sacra will host a Gala Celebration of Kent Tritle's Tenth Anniversary featuring members of the ensemble singing delightful music of spring, to take place at a patron's beautiful Manhattan home. 
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Coming up...

Great Music in a Great Space at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Kent Tritle, conductor
David Rosenmeyer, assistant conductor
Susanna Phillips, soprano
John Matthew Myers, tenor
Matthew Worth, baritone
The Cathedral Choristers,
   Bryan Zaros, director

BRITTEN  War Requiem

Saturday, April 8, 1:30 PM
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

Final round and awards announcement

Friday, April 14, 7 PM
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Laments for Good Friday: Bach and Pärt
Kent Tritle, conductor
With players of the Cathedral Orchestra
Halley Gilbert, soprano
Katie Geissinger, mezzo-soprano
Michael Steinberger, tenor
Peter Stewart, baritone

PÄRT  Stabat Mater
J.S. BACH  Ich habe genug, BWV 82

Monday, May 8, 8 PM
Carnegie Hall
Kent Tritle, conductor
Leslie Fagan, soprano
Christopher Ainsley, countertenor
Lawrence Jones, tenor
Sidney Outlaw, baritone

BACH  Mass in B Minor

Wednesday, May 17
6:30 PM: Wine & hors d'oeuvres
7:15 PM: Performance
Gala Celebration of Kent Tritle's Tenth Anniversary

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.

For more information, visit www.kenttritle.com.

Photos: Jennifer Taylor