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Kent Tritle (Choral Conductor, Organ)

Born: August 26, 1960 - Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA

The American choral conductor and organist, Kent Tritle, has graduate and undergraduate degrees from The Juilliard School in organ performance and choral conducting.

Kent Tritle is one of the leading choral conductors and organists in New York City today. Since 1989 he has been Director of Music Ministries at St. Ignatius Loyola Church. Under his direction the music program of the church has grown dramatically, both as a liturgical music program encompassing over 400 liturgies annually, and as host for the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series. The broad liturgical music program explores the musical traditions of the Roman Catholic heritage, from the Gregorian chant, choral and organ music of the Solemn mass to the best of contemporary idioms sung at the Wallace Hall and Sunday evening 7:30 pm masses. Tritle has led the professional Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola to critical acclaim and in 1990 founded the volunteer Parish Community Choir. From 1991-1993 he was artistic consultant on the design and installation of the church’s renowned four-manual, 68 stop mechanical action pipe organ by N.P. Mander. Sixteen years ago Kent Tritle founded Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the acclaimed series of choral/orchestral concerts and organ music at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. This series has presented over 100 concerts ranging from important premieres his artistic collaborations include those with Susanne Mentzer, Susan Graham, Renée Fleming (for BBC Wales), Jessye Norman, Sherrill Milnes, Marilyn Horne, Tony Randall, Hei-Kyung Hong and Barbara Dever, Andre Previn and Yo-Yo Ma.

Kent Tritle is Organist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (since 1994) and the American Symphony Orchestra. With the New York Philharmonic Orchestra he has recorded J. Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem and B. Britten’s War Requiem, and Henze’s Symphony No.9, all conducted by Kurt Masur, and most recently the Grammy nominated Sweeney Todd conducted by Andrew Litton. He has performed with most all the conductors on the New York Philharmonic’s roster. He has recorded more than a dozen CDs, and is featured on the Cala label’s “New York Legends” series with New York Philharmonic English Horn Thomas Stacy, as well as on the Telarc, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, and VAI labels. For Universal Classics he produced Glorious Pipes, a compendium of great organ music. He has appeared often as a guest artist with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As an organ recitalist he performs regularly across the USA, in Europe and Japan. Recital venues have included the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Zurich Tonhalle, and Church of St. Sulpice in Paris; in the fall of 2005 he played a recital at King’s College, Cambridge, and at Westminster Abbey.

From 1996 to 2004 Kent Tritle was music director of The Dessoff Choirs, winners of the ASCAP/Chorus America award for adventurous programming of contemporary music. Under his direction Dessoff Choirs performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and regularly with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. In 2001 they were featured on “Live from Lincoln Center” and at the Lincoln Center Festival in concert of Mozart’s Requiem. As director of Dessoff Choirs he collaborated with conductors Christoph von Dohnányi, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Michael Tilson Thomas, Vladimir Spivakov, Leon Botstein, Robert Spano, Nicholas McGegan and Dennis Russell Davies. In January 2006 Kent Tritle was appointed music director of the Oratorio Society of New York. His Carnegie Hall debut conducting George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with that organization garnered critical acclaim from The New York Times.

Kent Tritle has been on the Juilliard faculty since 1996, currently directing a graduate practicum on oratorio in collaboration with the school’s Vocal Arts Department. He has been a frequent guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been a featured personality on ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, has been profiled in The New York Times; he is an occasional guest on New York radio stations WQXR and WNYC and was the subject of a full program on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Pipe Dreams”, broadcast nationally, as well as in numerous other radio and print outlets. Audiophile Audition called his “Romantic Organ” recording on the Epiphany label the “best recording of the year” in 1996.

Source: New York Philharmonic & St. Ignatius Loyola Church Websites
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2006)

Kent Tritle: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

New York Philharmonic: Kent Tritle
The Music Staff (St. Ignatius Loyola Chorch)
Kent Tritle, Former Music Director (Dessof Choirs)
Oratorio Society of New York: Music Director: Kent Tritle
Kent Tritle on Facebook

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