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The Cathedral of St. John the Divine Welcomes David Briggs for Concert Celebrating German Romantics

The concert will take place on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7 pm on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine Welcomes David Briggs for Concert Celebrating German Romantics

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine continues its 2020-2021 season of Great Music in a Great Space with a virtual concert by Artist in Residence David Briggs, who will present a streamed concert of organ transcriptions that encompass the opulent peak of the German Romantic era on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7 pm on the Cathedral's YouTube channel.

David's program will include two orchestral excerpts from the operas of Richard Wagner; Jean Guillou's brilliant transcription of Franz Liszt's blazing symphonic poem Prometheus; and David's own 1990 transcription of Richard Strauss's profoundly moving tone poem Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration), which portrays the various stages of the "life of an artist," and what might happen to the human soul immediately after death. The ticketed concert will be preceded by a free virtual pre-concert lecture on Facebook at 6 pm, in which David will reveal his secrets about the art of transcribing and interpreting vast scores by Wagner, Liszt and Strauss, where one person recreates music normally performed by an orchestra of a hundred musicians. The lecture will be presented as part of the Cathedral's weekly Tuesdays at 6 organ recital series.

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's Great Music in a Great Space series has moved online, presenting full-length virtual concerts by Raymond Nagem and David Briggs performing major works with an in-depth focus on individual composers. In addition to these performances, the Cathedral's ongoing Tuesdays at 6 series welcomes listeners to informal online recitals, performed from locations both far and near. Continuing through the virtues of streaming technology, the Cathedral's robust music program is sure to enliven the New Year with joy and hope.

Tickets for the 7 pm concert are $10 and can be purchased by visiting

Ticket holders will receive a private link to access the performance, which can be streamed beginning at 7 pm on February 23. The performance will be available to watch on demand until March 22, 2021 through this same link. Tickets may be purchased from now through March 22.

The 6 pm pre-concert lecture is free and no ticket is required. To access the pre-concert lecture, visit the Cathedrla's Facebook page, YouTube channel, or this page on the Cathedral's website:

For questions about ticketing, please email For questions regarding music, please email


David Briggs, organ


Richard Wagner (1813-1883), transcribed by William Joseph Westbrook (1831-1894)

Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Richard Wagner, transcribed by Edwin H. Lemare (1865-1934)

Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde

Franz Liszt (1811-1886), transcribed by Jean Guillou (1930-2019)


Richard Strauss (1864-1949), transcribed by David Briggs (b. 1962)

Tod und Verklärung

About the Artists

David Briggs is an internationally renowned organist whose performances are acclaimed for their musicality, virtuosity, and ability to excite and engage audiences of all ages. Consistently ranked as one of the finest organists of his generation, David's extensive repertoire spans five centuries. He has also become one of the foremost organ transcribers of symphonic works, thereby giving listeners the opportunity to experience the organ in a new way. He has transcribed orchestral compositions by Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Bruckner, Ravel, and Bach, as well as Mahler's Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth symphonies.

Described as "an intrepid improviser" by Michael Barone, host of American Public Media's Pipedreams, David performs more than 50 concerts a year at international venues, teaches performance at Cambridge University, frequently serves on international organ competition juries, and gives master classes at colleges and conservatories across the U.S. and Europe.

David is also a prolific composer whose works range from full scale oratorios to works for solo instruments. He has recorded two DVDs and 37 CDs, many of which include his own compositions and transcriptions. David is currently Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. For more information, please visit

About Great Music in a Great Space

Revived in 2011, Great Music in a Great Space reprises the legendary concert series first held at the Cathedral in the 1980s. Great Music in a Great Space presents choral, orchestral, and instrumental music, in the magnificent, deeply spiritual setting of the world's largest Gothic cathedral. Concerts take place in many locations: the vast space of the Crossing, the more intimate setting of the Great Choir, and the exquisite Chapels of the Tongues. The beloved holiday traditions of the Christmas Concert and New Year's Eve Concert for Peace are an integral part of our concert series.

About the Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. It is chartered as a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership.

People from many faiths and communities worship together in services held more than 30 times a week; the soup kitchen serves roughly 25,000 meals annually; social service outreach has an increasingly varied roster of programs; the distinguished Cathedral School prepares young students to be future leaders; Advancing the Community of Tomorrow (ACT), the renowned preschool, afterschool and summer program, offers diverse educational and nurturing experiences; the outstanding Textile Conservation Lab preserves world treasures; concerts, exhibitions, performances and civic gatherings allow conversation, celebration, reflection and remembrance-such is the joyfully busy life of this beloved and venerated Cathedral.

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