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Conductor Kent Tritle's Spring 2014 Season to Feature Bach, Meredith Monk, and More

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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.

The Oratorio Society of New York has lately been an active part of Kent's New York synergy, having participated in the New York Philharmonic's "Philharmonic 360" extravaganza at the Park Avenue Armory in 2012. Kent will prepare the chorus of a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, led by Sir Roger Norrington, at Carnegie Hall on March 6, 2014.

After the acclaimed performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the New York Philharmonic, Kent's concerts with the choral forces of the Manhattan School of Music include a performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Symphonic Chorus, Chamber Choir and Orchestra (February 12, 2014, at Borden Auditorium); and a concert at which Kent conducts Honegger's King David and Ronald Oliver conducts Stravinsky's Mass (April 4, 2014, at Borden Auditorium).

Kent also leads the inaugural Manhattan School of Music Choral Festival as part of the school's Summer Voice Festival, June 23-28, 2014, which focuses on Vivaldi's Gloria and Haydn's "Lord Nelson" Mass. The festival culminates in a performance of the two works at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on June 28, 2014.

As co-chair, with Deborah Simpkin King, of the New York Choral Consortium, an organization composed of approximately 60 New York-based choruses, Kent will co-host the consortium's annual "Big Sing" event on June 10, 2014, at which members will sing Brahms's Requiem and other works, led by some of the groups' conductors.

And at the 2014 Berkshire Choral Festival, Kent will lead the festival participants in Elgar's Dream of Gerontius(August 2, 2014). This marks Kent's third time conducting at the festival.

The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle," the hour-long radio show, in its third season on WQXR (Sundays at 7:00 AM and on demand at www.wqxr.org/programs/choral/), runs from October through March, continuing to shine a spotlight on the vibrant genre of choral music and the breadth of activity in the choral community.

Kent Tritle is one of America's leading choral conductors. 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 at the Manhattan School of Music and is a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School. He is the host of the weekly radio show "The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle," a weekly hour-long radio program on New York's Classical 105.9 WQXR and www.wqxr.org. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic.

Kent is co-chair of the New York Choral Consortium, an advocacy organization for the choral arts composed of more than 50 New York City-based groups.

Kent Tritle has made more than a dozen recordings on the Telarc, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, VAI and MSR Classics labels. His recent CDs with the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, Cool of the Day, an a cappella program of music ranging from Gregorian chant, Palestrina, and spirituals to Strauss's Deutsche Motette, and Ginastera's The Lamentations of Jeremiah and Schnittke's Concerto for Choir, have been praised by Gramophone, the American Record Guide, and The Choral Journal; his most recent disc is Messages to Myself, a recording with Musica Sacra of five new works.

Kent Tritle founded the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series at New York's Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, and led it to great acclaim from 1989 to 2011. From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Tritle was Music Director of the Emmy-nominated Dessoff Choirs, winners of the ASCAP/Chorus America award for adventurous programming of contemporary music.

Photo Credit: www.kenttritle.com

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