Conductor Kent Tritle's Spring 2014 Season to Feature Bach, Meredith Monk, and More
In the spring of 2014, Kent Tritle leads the forces of his various organizations in music ranging from that of Renaissance Spain, to the choral masterpieces of J.S. Bach, to Honegger's King David, to a program with the voice pioneer Meredith Monk and the New York premiere of a work by Jocelyn Hagen.
And the season's New York synergy - Kent's groups collaborating with others - that began with acclaimed participation by Musica Sacra in the live score performances of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey with the New York Philharmonic, and the Manhattan School of Music performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, also with the Philharmonic - continues with a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis by Sir Roger Norrington conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke's that will feature the Oratorio Society of New York under Kent's direction.
Kent Tritle is Director of Cathedral Music and Organist of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, and Music Director of Musica Sacra. He is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music; and a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School, and is the host of the weekly radio show "The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle" on New York's WQXR and www.wqxr.org. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra.
For the third season of the revived Great Music in a Great Space series at the Cathedral of St. John, Kent has extended his exploration of the Cathedral's space, staging concerts in four locations within the cathedral: against the backdrop of the Rose Windows of the West End; the proscenium, or the edge of the cathedral's Great Choir; in the Great Crossing; and in the Chapel of St. James, one of the Chapels of the Tongues. The two spring programs:
"Ornament of the World," the Cathedral Choir's third collaboration with Nina Stern's world-music ensemble Rose of the Compass, presents a musical exploration of multicultural Spain, focusing on the mingling of cultures before the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 and the Moors in 1614, in the cathedral's intimate Chapel of St. James (February 19, 2014)
Bach's St. John Passion is performed by the combined Cathedral Choirs and Orchestra and soloists Lawrence Jones, Neil Netherly, Amy Justman, Kirsten Sollek, John Tiranno, and Peter Stewart on a stage at the edge of the cathedral's Great Choir (April 8, 2014).
Composers Meredith Monk and Jocelyn Hagen are celebrated with a special Musica Sacra program on March 31, 2014. Monk, the legendary voice pioneer, performs with the ensemble and guest vocalist Katie Geissinger in her works including Nightfall, which she composed for Musica Sacra in 1995. Hagen's amass, a New York premiere, uses traditional texts from the Roman Catholic mass as a framework, along with poetry from Saint John of the Cross and medieval mystic Meister Eckhart, and Eastern texts from the Hindu poet Tukaram. Called "dramatic and deeply moving" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the work blends a variety of musical textures, from cello quartet and solo voice to double choir, and the soloists for this performance are singers Jennifer Zetlan, John Matthew Myers, and Mischa Bouvier, and cellist Arthur Fiacco, Jr. Kent and the composers also present a "Cultural Conversation" on March 26.
When the Oratorio Society of New York performed Handel's Messiah in its annual presentation in December, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote in The New York Times, "when the entire chorus belted out the word 'wonderful' in 'For unto us a child is born' the effect was exactly that. So was the 'hallelujah.'" The OSNY takes on another choral masterwork, St. Matthew Passion, with soloists Nicholas Phan (Evangelist), Kevin Deas (Christus), Leslie Fagan, Susanne Mentzer, Mathew Plenk, and Kelly Markgraf, at Carnegie Hall on May 20, 2014.