The Cathedral Music staff bring professional and education experience that add depth and range to the Music program.
Kent TritleDirector of Cathedral Music & Organist
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; Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, the acclaimed 200-voice volunteer chorus; and Music Director of Musica Sacra, New York’s longest continuously performing professional chorus.
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. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra and on the organ faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.
Kent Tritle founded the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series at New York’s Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, and led it from 1989 to 2011. From 1996 to 2004, he was Music Director of New York’s The Dessoff Choirs. Kent hosted “The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle,” a weekly program on New York’s WQXR, from 2010 to 2014. Kent Tritle’s discography includes recordings on the Telarc, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, Pro Organo, VAI and MSR Classics labels.
Raymond NagemAssociate Director of Music & Organist
Raymond Nagem is Associate Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and a member of the organ faculty at Manhattan School of Music, where he teaches organ literature, service playing, and improvisation. He completed his D.M.A. at The Juilliard School in May 2016, where he was a student of Paul Jacobs.
A native of Medford, Mass., Dr. Nagem attended the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School and began organ lessons there with John Dunn. He earned his B. A. from Yale University in 2009, as a double major in Music and Psychology, and studied the organ with Thomas Murray, and his M. A. in 2011 from Juilliard. He has worked since 2010 at St. John the Divine, where he has primary responsibility for service playing and choral accompaniment and frequently conducts the cathedral’s several choral ensembles. In addition to these duties, he performs in recital both in New York and across the country.
Highlights for the 2018–19 season include an October recital featuring Karg-Elert’s magnificent and rarely played Organ Symphony, a performance of J. S. Bach’s complete Orgelbüchlein at St. John the Divine, as well as recitals at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, Trinity College, Hartford, and the Geneva Music Festival. Dr. Nagem’s album Divine Splendor is available on the Pro Organo label.
Bryan ZarosAssociate Choirmaster
Bryan Zaros is a young American conductor recognized for his “strong musical imagination” and “deep sense of musicality and communication.” A native New Yorker, Bryan began his professional musical training as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and as a boy chorister and Assistant Choirmaster at The Church of the Transfiguration, NYC. He is the Music Director of the Pro Arte Chorale, an ensemble with a 55-year legacy specializing in the performance of choral/orchestral masterworks, a lecturer at the Manhattan School of Music and is active as a coach and clinician of ensembles in the USA and Europe.
Recent conducting engagements have included invitations with choirs and orchestras in England, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, Argentina, Greece, Slovenia, Ireland and Romania. Most notably he has conducted performances at Alice Tully Hall-Lincoln Center, the American Choral Director’s Association Conferences and at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. He is a recipient of several national grants and conducting awards including an American Prize award in Conducting.
Previously, Bryan served as the conductor of the Archdiocesan Choir and Orchestra at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, Hartford, Connecticut; on the faculty at The Hartt School-University of Hartford and as the Director of Choral Activities at Avon Old Farms School, an exclusive all male boarding college preparatory school in Avon, Connecticut. He received a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Michigan. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting at the Manhattan School of Music.
Bryan began his tenure as the Associate Choirmaster at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in August 2016 and made his conducting debut with the Cathedral’s Choirs leading them in performance at Westminster Abbey, London. For more information about Bryan, visit bryanzaros.com.
Stephen BiegnerMusic Administrator
Stephen is a light lyric tenor with an affinity for choral music. He has worked with project-based-ensemble Ampersand for a number of concerts, including as the tenor soloist in David Lang’s little match girl passion and in a performance of Handel’s Dixit Dominus. Stephen has also had the opportunity to sing as a soloist in other groups performing pieces such as Brahms’ Liebesliede Waltzes and Ziegeunerlieder, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and Bach’s B-minor Mass to name a few. Stephen has performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the New York Armory (as part of the Philharmonic 360 concert), Carnegie Hall, and both Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London.
For the past two years, Stephen has taught and sung at the Amherst Early Music Festival working as the tenor section leader during the Choral Workshop. He helped prepare the tenor section for Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame and performed the role of Jesus in the group’s performance of Le reniement de Saint Pierre by Charpentier. He will be back again for a third year for an all-Italian program which includes a performance of Carissimi’s Jephte.
Although mainly interested in choral music, Stephen has performed in several operas, including a new opera Truth, composed by Paula Kimper, based on the life of Sojourner Truth, which premiered at the NY Fringe Festival. Other roles include Tony in West Side Story, Manuel in The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and Orphée in Orphée aux enfers. Stephen is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music having studied with Voice Department chair Maitland Peters while he was there.
Jie YiMusic Administrator
Jie Yi is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at Manhattan School of Music, studying with Kent Tritle. Mr. Yi is a recipient of the Asian Culture Council Fellowship in 2011, and the U.S. China Cultural Institute Fellowship for Young Conductors in 2006. He graduated from Manhattan School of Music, with a Master of Music degree in conducting (2015).
In 2018, Mr. Yi performed Missa O quam gloriosum, by Tomas Victoria, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine with the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir. He also conducted Handel’s coronation anthem Let Thy Hand be Strengthened at Riverside Church with the MSM Chamber Choir and Symphonic Orchestra. In 2017, he conducted Bach’s St. John Passion (excerpts) at the Oregon Bach Festival. In 2015, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall, directing Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata presented by DCINY. In 2011, he participated in the Jarvi Summer Festival in Estonia, with Neeme and Parvo Jarvi. In France, Mr. Yi was one of 6 conductors chosen for the Vendome International Academy of Conducting to study with John Nelson.
As pianist and vocal coach, Mr. Yi performed at La Lingua della Lirica Festival in Italy (2015-16), and performed Bellini’s opera I Capuletti e I Montecchi at Manhattan School of Music (2013).