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Cathedral of St. John the Divine Welcomes Raymond Nagem for Virtual Concert Celebrating the Music of Oliver Messiaen

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The concert will take place on December 1.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine Welcomes Raymond Nagem for Virtual Concert Celebrating the Music of Oliver Messiaen

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine continues its 2020-2021 season of Great Music in a Great Space with a virtual performance by Associate Director of Music Raymond Nagem, who will perform Olivier Messiaen's Apparition de l'Eìglise eìternelle and La Nativiteì du Seigneur. The performance is ticketed and will be streamed via the Cathedral's website on Tuesday, December 1 at 7 pm. There will be a free virtual pre-concert lecture on Facebook at 6 pm, as part of the Cathedral's weekly Tuesdays at 6 organ recital series.

Organist, pianist, composer, and visionary, Messiaen wrote music of vivid color and intense contrasts, ranging from delirious joy to profound stillness. La Nativiteì tells the Christmas story, with the shepherds, the Magi, the Word of God, and the infant Jesus all represented in music. With the Cathedral's famous acoustics, underneath soaring Gothic arches, these meditations on the drama of Christ's birth take on spectacular power.

In response to the difficulties of making live music during the coronavirus pandemic, and in hope of providing musical beauty in these uncertain times, the Cathedral has created Tuesdays at 6, a series of informal online recitals, performed from locations both far and near. In addition to these weekly programs, Great Music in a Great Space presents a second series of full-length concerts by Raymond Nagem and David Briggs, featuring major works and in-depth focus on individual composers. These GMGS performances, presented via streaming technology, are sure to enliven the approaching Christmas season with joy and awe. In the days leading up to his performance, Nagem will be blogging his way through the nine movements of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur. Stay tuned via the Great Music in a Great Space Facebook page!

Tickets for the 7 pm concert are $10 and can be purchased by visiting this page. The day of the concert, ticket holders will be emailed a private link to access the 7 pm performance via the Cathedral's website. The 6 pm pre-concert lecture is free and no ticket is required. To access the pre-concert lecture, please visit the Great Music in a Great Space Facebook page at 6 pm. For questions about ticketing, please email For questions regarding music, please email



Raymond Nagem, organ


Music of Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

Apparition de l'Église éternelle

La Nativité du Seigneur

About the Artist

Raymond Nagem is Associate Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and a member of the organ faculty at Manhattan School of Music, where he teaches organ literature, service playing, and improvisation. He completed his D.M.A. at The Juilliard School in 2016, where he was a student of Paul Jacobs.

A native of Medford, Mass., Dr. Nagem attended the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School and began organ lessons there with John Dunn. He earned his B.A. from Yale University in 2009, as a double major in Music and Psychology, and studied the organ with Thomas Murray, and his M.A. in 2011 from Juilliard. He has worked since 2010 at St. John the Divine, where he has primary responsibility for service playing and choral accompaniment and frequently conducts the cathedral's choral ensembles.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Dr. Nagem (along with Artist in Residence David Briggs) has performed weekly online recitals as part of the Cathedral's "Tuesdays at 6" series. These recitals from home are streamed over the cathedral's Facebook and Youtube pages, and feature a diverse range of music covering the entire organ repertoire. For more information and a list of upcoming performances, visit

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