Kent Tritle Leaves St. Ignatius Loyola to Head Music at St. John the Divine

Ubiquitous Choral Music Maestro to Head Country's Largest Cathedral

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine has chosen WQXR host, conductor and organist Kent Tritle to become its Director of Cathedral Music and Organist. In taking on the appointment, he leaves St. Ignatius Loyola Church, where he has been Director of Music Ministries for 22 years.

Tritle will take over at St. John the Divine on Sept. 1, putting him at the helm of music at what is said to be the largest cathedral in the U.S. He succeeds former director Bruce Neswick, who is leaving to become an organ professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

A ubiquitous figure on New York's choral scene, Tritle has been Director of Music Ministries at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan since 1989, where he oversaw a program of more than 400 services annually, led the church’s professional choir, and developed a 45-voice volunteer parish choir. With graduate and undergraduate degrees from The Juilliard School in organ performance and choral conducting, Tritle also directs the Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra, and is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music and a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School – capacities in which he will continue.

“It is with great joy that I accept the position of Director of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine,” said Tritle in a statement. “I have always loved the Cathedral; its place, its mission, and its musical legacy, and I am thrilled to embark with the Cathedral staff on an adventure to take the music program to even greater heights.”

The music program at the Cathedral, always a primary focus for the Cathedral and The Cathedral School, will be expanded under Tritle’s new leadership. Tritle said he will focus on developing the Cathedral choirs, in both liturgical and concert settings, and raising the profile of the concert series.

Tritle comes to the Cathedral three years after its post-fire rededication and the restoration of its Great Organ, one of the world's most renowned instruments. Built in 1911 by Ernest M. Skinner, and enlarged and rebuilt in 1954 by G. Donald Harrison of The Aeolian Skinner Organ Company, the Great Organ is forged from the genius of two of America's foremost organ-builders.

“I could not be more excited by this opportunity to bring Kent Tritle to the Cathedral –he's a gifted musician and a person of deep faith,” said Cathedral Dean, the Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski in a statement.

As host of The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle, the conductor and organist tackles the vibrant and active world of choral music in New York and beyond. Recent shows have covered national choral styles (French, Italian), the choral world of Brahms, madrigals and the great Bach passions.


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Comments [11]

Marya Dull from Virginia

Yet more "life after Juilliard"! Congratulations Kent. Best of luck in this new and wonderful venue. :-)

Aug. 16 2011 04:18 PM

Congratulations to your move to St John the Divine! Your enthusiasm and dedication to choral music is amazing. I wish you many, many more years and adventures.

Jul. 18 2011 10:45 AM

Congratulations, Mr. Tritle! That's a most astonishing space to work in. The best of luck to you!

Jul. 17 2011 07:01 AM

While I'm sure your writer was in earnest
>Built in 1911 by Earnest M. Skinner, and enlarged and rebuilt in 1954 by G. Donald Harrison of The Aeolian Skinner Organ Company<,
it's Ernest M. Skinner and The Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company.
I'm just sayin'.
Congrats to Mr. Tritle -- the cathedral is a great place, in more ways than one.

Jul. 15 2011 01:10 AM

Many congratulations!

Jul. 15 2011 12:30 AM
Suzy Doob from Tanglewood

Congratulations, Kent!

Jul. 15 2011 12:05 AM
Richard Pace

Congratulations to Kent and to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. I look forward to hearing great music there.

Jul. 14 2011 08:31 PM
Jim Stewart from Rochester, NY

St. John the Divine has always been one of those "thin places" for me where the Spirit breaks-in in unexpected ways... the music program has always contributed immeasurably to that experience. I came to the Cathedral first when I worked in New York and Paul Halley was Director and Organist. What a blessing that Mr. Tritle is taking on this important post. How can one man do all that he does?

Jul. 14 2011 06:41 PM

Congratulations to Mr. Tritle! Best wishes on his assumption of duties at St. John the Divine. I've heard him perform on a number of occasions, one of the most memorable of which was at SUNY-Purchase wherein he played the organ there and gave a concise and clear demonstration/explanation of its parts and registration.

But shame on you WQXR! You neglected to mention that Mr. Tritle is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic. Surely that position is as noteworthy and worthwhile as his other duties at Juilliard, The Manhattan School of Music and Musica Sacra, right?

Jul. 14 2011 06:24 PM
Michael Meltzer

Congratulations and warmest regards, Kent, and every possible success!
Dick Westenburg took this post in the late 70's, when Alec Wyton went to St. James. You follow a wonderful tradition, and are the right person now.

Jul. 14 2011 02:13 PM

Congratulations, Mr. Tritle!

Jul. 14 2011 02:05 PM

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