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Kent Tritle, New Chair of Manhattan School of Music Organ Department, to Perform Annual Recital, 11/18


Manhattan School of Music (MSM) recently announced the appointment of Kent Tritle, also the School's Director of Choral Activities, as Chair of its historic Organ Department.

Tritle, who the New York Times has hailed as "the brightest star in New York's choral music world," is organist for both the New York Philharmonic (since 1994) and American Symphony Orchestra (since 1993), as well as serving as Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He is also Music Director of both Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York, and the acclaimed Oratorio Society of New York.

"The opportunity to lead this wonderful Organ Department and build on its unique offerings was irresistible," says Tritle. "One of the great advantages of a Manhattan School of Music education is the city itself; New York affords countless opportunities to students that they would not get elsewhere, and that is certainly true of this department."

Indeed, MSM's Organ program offers students a number of "off campus" performance and learning opportunities with prestigious New York institutional partners, including St. John the Divine, Corpus Christi Church, and more. And it pairs students with the kind of top-flight artist faculty that is unique to this city, including Tritle himself; Andrew Henderson (Director of Music, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church); Walter Hilse (Organist, Redeemer Presbyterian Church); Paul Martin-Maki (Music Director, St. John's Lutheran Church Larchmont); and Raymond Nagem (Associate Organist, Cathedral of St. John the Divine).

The program, which includes David Higgs (Chair of Eastman School's Organ Department) among its distinguished alumni, offers scholarships and a range of degrees that includes Master of Music, Professional Studies, and Doctor of Musical Arts.

Formerly, the MSM Organ Department was chaired by McNeil Robinson, who died last May; Robinson was an internationally renowned organist, composer, and educator who led the department for over two decades.

Tritle directs the MSM Chamber Choir, which performs Tan Dun's Water Passion (conducted by the composer) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, November 14 (the performance will be streamed on Q2 Music):

Saturday, November 14, 2015, 2 PM & 7:30 PM

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Tan Dun, conductor

Stephen Bryant, baritone

Elizabeth Keusch, soprano

Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir

Kent Tritle, director

Ronnie Oliver, associate director

Tritle will also perform his annual organ recital at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine next week, on Wednesday, November 18:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 7:30 PM

Great Music in a Great Space at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine


BUXTEHUDE Praeludium in C Major, BUX 137

DE GRIGNY Récit de Tierce en taille

BACH Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582

WIDOR Symphonie VI, Op. 42, No. 2 - Allegro (Mvt. I)

PINKHAM A Prophecy for Organ

FRANCK Cantabile

DURUFLÉ Prelude and Fugue "sur le nom d'Alain," Op. 7

Kent Tritle has been the organist of the New York Philharmonic since 1994 and the American Symphony Orchestra since 1993. He is also Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where he leads the Great Music in a Great Space series. He performed Saint-Saëns's Organ Symphony with the Philharmonic in June 2010 with the conductor Sir Andrew Davis. He has recorded Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, Britten's War Requiem, and Henze's Symphony No. 9 with the Philharmonic, all conducted by Kurt Masur, as well as the Grammy-nominated Sweeney Todd conducted by Andrew Litton. He is featured on the DVDs The Organistas and Creating the Stradivarius of Organs. Recordings include The Romantic Organ; Kent Tritle at St. Ignatius Loyola; Kevin Oldham's Organ Symphony No. 1; Duruflé's Suite for Organ, Op. 5; and a disc of works played on the Noack tracker organ at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow.

As an organ recitalist he performs regularly in Europe and across the United States. Recital venues have included the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Zurich Tonhalle, and Church of St. Sulpice in Paris, King's College (Cambridge), Westminster Abbey, and St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

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 Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York and of Musica Sacra, and Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music. Kent founded Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the acclaimed concert series at New York's Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, in 1989, and led it for 22 years. For more about Kent, visit

Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today MSM is recognized for its more than 900 superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come from more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states; a world-renowned artist-teacher faculty; and innovative curricula. The School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, from its Precollege students through those pursuing postgraduate studies.

Offering both classical and jazz training - and, beginning in fall 2016, a Bachelor's degree program in musical theater - MSM grants Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, as well as the Professional Studies Certificate and Artist Diploma. True to MSM's origins as a music school for children, the Precollege program continues to offer superior music instruction to young musicians between the ages of five and 18. The School also serves some 2,000 New York City schoolchildren through its Arts-in-Education Program, and another 2,000 students through its critically acclaimed Distance Learning Program.

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