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Musica Sacra, Kent Tritle, director



Since its founding in 1964 by conductor Richard Westenburg, the mission of Musica Sacra has been to create definitive, professional, choral performances of the highest caliber, and profound statements, made simply and elegantly. It does so through concerts, recordings, the commissioning and performing of new choral works, and collaborating with other top-tier performing arts organizations.

Musica Sacra, now under the artistic leadership of Kent Tritle, presents performances each year at prestigious venues throughout New York, including the chorus and orchestra’s performances of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall. Recent highlights of Musica Sacra’s singular history of collaborations with other ensembles and organizations include the New York Philharmonic’s live-to-film performances of Amadeus, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and 2001: A Space Odyssey (which the chorus also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra); New York City Ballet’s performances of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Brahms’s A German Requiem, the Mozart Requiem, and J.S Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the New York Philharmonic and Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Mostly Mozart Festival; and the New York City Opera Renaissance production of Puccini’s Tosca.

Musica Sacra can be heard on recordings on the RCA, BMG, MSR Classics, and Deutsche Grammophon labels, including the first digitally recorded performance of Handel’s Messiah, released in 1982 by RCA and reissued on High Performance, BMG’s audiophile label. Recent releases include Messages to Myself the first Musica Sacra recording led by Kent Tritle — comprising contemporary works including commissions by Daniel Brewbaker and Michael Gilbertson, and Eternal Reflections, featuring recent choral compositions by Robert Paterson.

Kent Tritle is one of America’s leading choral conductors. In addition to being music director of Musica Sacra, he is director of cathedral music and organist at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City and music director of the Oratorio Society of New York. 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, he was music director of New York’s The Dessoff Choirs. Tritle has made more than 20 recordings on the Telarc, Naxos, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, VAI, and MSR Classics labels. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, Tritle is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic. He is a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School.

Upcoming 2023-2024 Performances

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