Kent Kritle's 2012-2013 season marks his 30th year conducting in New York City. The landmark season includes Britten's War Requiem with the Oratorio Society of New York, Bach's Mass in B Minor with at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Mendelssohn's Elijah at the Manhattan School of Music, and travels across the U.S. for Carnegie Hall's National High School Choral Festival. See full details below.
Kent Tritle arrived in New York in 1982 to pursue graduate studies at The Juilliard School. The work he has done in the three decades since then has earned him the reputation as "New York's reigning choral conductor" (The New York Times), and one of the most acclaimed anywhere.
The breadth of his activity in 2012-13, his 30th anniversary year in New York City, attests to the praise. He marks his second year as Director of Cathedral Music and Organist of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, his eighth season as as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York and sixth season as 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.
Among the highlights of the year:
Kent's second season at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine features three concerts with the Cathedral Choir performing Bach's Mass in B Minor (October 10, 2012); Vaughan Williams's Mass in G Minor and Fauré's Requiem (March 20, 2013); and "Jerusalem," a concert featuring the Choir with Rose of the Compass, an ensemble featuring recorder, oud, kanun, and percussion (May 1, 2013). In addition to these events, the newly-revived Great Music in a Great Space series will also include a Christmas concert with the Cathedral Choir (December 8, 2012), and the annual New Year's Eve Concert for Peace with the choir and orchestra and special guest Judy Collins.
Three Carnegie Hall concerts with the Oratorio Society of New York, the acclaimed 200-voice volunteer chorus marking its 140th anniversary in 2012-13, feature Britten's War Requiem (April 22, 2013); the New York premiere of Paul Moravec's oratorio The Blizzard Voices (November 5, 2012); and the OSNY's annual performance of Handel's Messiah (December 17, 2012)
Kent's season with Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York City, launches with a program at Alice Tully Hall featuring Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy as well as Mozart's Exsultate jubilate with the rising star soprano Susanna Phillips, a singer with whom Kent has worked since her early days at Juilliard (October 22, 2012). Musica Sacra will return to the Church of St. Paul the Apostle (where they performed Rachmaninoff's Vespers to acclaim in September 2011) for "The Soul Rejoices," a program featuring Magnificat settings by Monteverdi and Pärt (May 15, 2013), and to Carnegie Hall for its annual performances of Handel's Messiah (December 20 & 23, 2012).
Since joining the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music as Director of Choral Activities in 2008, Kent Tritle has not only expanded the school's choral program to the point where it now offers a doctoral program in choral conducting, but he has broadened the scope of the vocal ensembles' activities so that they are increasingly integrated into New York's professional concert scene. In 2011-12, the Symphonic Chorus performed Walton's Henry V with the New York Philharmonic, and the Chamber Choir joined the Philharmonic for a Young People's Concert, both in fall 2011.
In 2012-13, Kent's programs with the choral forces of MSM include performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah by the MSM Symphony and Symphonic Chorus (February 28, 2013, at the Manhattan School of Music); and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with the MSM Chamber Choir and Chamber Ensemble (April 10. 2013, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine).
Two Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Chorus concerts featuring organ will take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine: a program led by Philippe Entremont featuring Poulenc's Gloria and Saint-Saëns's Symphony No. 3, "Organ," with Kent Tritle as soloist (February 8, 2013); and a concert led by Kent featuring British organist and composer David Briggs's transcription of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," for organ, chorus, and soloists, a project commissioned by the Cathedral (April 12, 2013).
The New York Philharmonic's special season-ending concert Philharmonic 360 – Spatial Music from Mozart's Don Giovanni to Stockhausen's Gruppen at the Park Avenue Armory (June 29-30, 2012) will feature two of Kent's groups: the Oratorio Society of New York and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir performing in the finale of Act I of Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Carnegie Hall's National High School Choral Festival 2012-13 will be guided by Kent Tritle, who has selected the choruses from Arlington High School (Texas); Box Elder High School (Utah); Blue Valley Northwest High School (Kansas); and North Jersey Homeschoolers' High School for the project. The choruses' directors will come to New York in the fall for a professional development weekend with Kent, who will in February and March travel to each high school for a one-day preparatory session. The four choruses will then travel to New York for three days, April 17-19, of intensive rehearsal with Kent and John Nelson before a performance in Carnegie Hall of Mozart's Requiem with the Orchestra of St. Luke's conducted by Nelson (April 20, 2013).
The Blizzard Voices: Premiered by Opera Omaha in 2008, The Blizzard Voices, the New York premiere of which which Kent will conduct with the Oratorio Society of New York on November 5, 2012, is an oratorio by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec based on poetry by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. It tells the story of the Great Plains blizzard of 1888 – sometimes called the "Children's Blizzard" because so many schoolchildren were killed when the storm struck in the middle of the day on January 12, 1888. Each of Kooser's poems set to music is written in a different voice of a victim or witness.
Young Singers: Through his three ensembles and at the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, Kent Tritle has worked with a wealth of young singers over the years, but it is worth noting that several who he has engaged frequently in recent years are on the leading edge of the current group of rising stars in opera and concert: sopranos Susanna Phillips, Emalie Savoy, and Jennifer Zetlan; mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke; and tenor Paul Appleby.
Just released: Mozart's Coronation Mass, Bruckner Motets with the Oratorio Society of New York. Kent Tritle's first recording with the Oratorio Society of New York features soloists Rachel Rosales, soprano; Malena Dayen, mezzo-soprano; John Tiranno, tenor; and Joshua South, baritone, along with the Orchestra of the Society, on this OSNY release.
To be released August 2012: Messages to Myself: Musica Sacra performing an a cappellaprogram of five new works, which were presented in their world premiere (Daniel Brewbaker's Mother, Father, a setting of E.E. Cummings text; and Michael Gilbertson's Three Madrigals after Dowland), and New York premiere (Zachary Patten's Magnificat, Behzad Ranjbaran's We Are One, and Christopher Theofanidis's Messages to Myself) performances on May 13, 2011. This MSR Classics release is Kent Tritle's first recording with Musica Sacra – and the revival of the ensemble's recording tradition that includes more than ten releases on the RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, and BMG (Vanguard) labels.
And of the recently released Cool of the Day, an MSR Classics disc of a cappella repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant, Palestrina, and spirituals to Strauss's Deutsche Motette, with the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, Fanfare said, "I know of no other recording that matches the depth and beauty of these performances."
Organ Performances in 2012-13
Among Kent Tritle's organ performances during the season are a recital at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine of music by Dupré and Widor that will be recorded for the Pro Organo label (January 16, 2013), Kent's first recording at the Cathedral; and two events that are part of the Bard SummerScape 2012 "Saint-Saëns and His World" festival: a performance of Saint-Saëns's "Organ" symphony with the American Symphony Orchestra (August 11, 2012), and a recital featuring French repertoire (August 12, 2012).
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 Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The 2012-2013 season marks his eighth season as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, the acclaimed 200-voice volunteer chorus; and sixth season as 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 devoted to the vibrant genre of choral music and the breadth of activity in the choral community.. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic.
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.
Kent Tritle has made more than a dozen recordings on the Telarc, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, VAI and MSR Classics labels. His most 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.
For more about Tritle, visit www.kenttritle.com.
KENT TRITLE 2012-2013 SEASON
Friday & Saturday, June 29 & 30, 2012, at 8:00 PM
Park Avenue Armory
PHILHARMONIC 360 – Spatial Music from Mozart's Don Giovanni to Stockhausen's Gruppen
Alan Gilbert, Magnus Lindberg, Mattias Pintscher, Conductors
Artists to include the Oratorio Society of New York and Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir,
Kent Tritle, Director
Program to include the Finale of Act I from Mozart's Don Giovanni
Saturday, August 11, 2012, at 8:00 PM