The 2018-19 season of concerts at Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City will begin with a long-anticipated, major dedicatory event centered on the inauguration of the church’s new Miller-Scott Organ. After over ten years of planning, this magnificent organ will be debuted by Saint Thomas’s current organist and director of music, Daniel Hyde, in a special solo recital at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 5.
This event will officially dedicate the instrument to the church’s former music director, John Scott. A virtuosic program has been planned with the intent of showcasing the instrument’s full sonic capabilities ranging from soft string voices to the iconic “blazing Saint Thomas sound.”
The Irene D. and William R. Miller Chancel Organ in memory of John Scott will be one of the most significant organs in North America. Containing 102 stops and 7,069 pipes, the instrument has been described by Hyde as offering, “...limitless opportunities for performance and education at the highest level.” In addition to supporting the internationally renowned liturgical and musical life of the parish, it will also encourage the training of young organists and be a showcase for recitalists from all over the world.
On Thursday, October 18, Saint Thomas Church’s Associate Organist Benjamin Sheen will play the organ for its first concert with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, and its orchestral debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. The concert program will feature concerto repertoire milestones Concerto en Sol mineur by Francis Poulenc and Toccata Festiva by Samuel Barber. Together with Sara Cutler, harp, and Hyesang Park, soprano, the choir will also perform C.H.H. Parry’s iconic setting of Milton’s Blest Pair of Sirens to honor the centenary of Parry’s death, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalmsto celebrate the centenary of his birth, and Leoš Janáček’s Otčenáš.
All concerts take place at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue at One West 53rd Street in New York City.
Tickets are required for both events. They may be purchased at Saint Thomas Church’s website, by calling the Concerts Office at (212) 664-9360, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Concerts Office at One West 53rd Street at Fifth Avenue (enter through the Parish House).
Hailed for his “attention to inner detail and clear sense of architecture" (Gramophone, June 2015), Hyde has been in increasing demand as a choral and orchestral conductor, and has worked with the BBC Singers, the London Bach Choir, the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the City of London Sinfonia. Since moving to New York in September 2016, he has directed the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys alongside the renowned Orchestra of St Luke’s and New York Baroque Incorporated.
As an organist, Hyde has performed across the UK and the world. A regular accompanist to the BBC Singers on BBC Radio Three, he has appeared at the BBC Proms on numerous occasions, and he made his solo debut there in 2010, performing Bach’s Canonic Variations at the organ of the Royal Albert Hall. In the 2014/15 season, he performed the complete organ works of J S Bach on the Dobson organ in Merton College, Oxford.
Sheen is one of Great Britain’s brightest young organists. Hailed as a “brilliant organist” by the New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens Organ Competition, and that same year received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition.
As a concert organist, Sheen has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Singapore, and South Africa. He has made several appearances on BBC radio and television and New York’s classical radio station WQXR in a complete performance of J.S. Bach’s ClavierÜbung III. Recent highlights have included performances and masterclasses in South Africa as well as being a featured artist at the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City, MO.
The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys is considered by many to be the leading ensemble in the Anglican choral tradition in the United States. The choir performs regularly with the period instrument ensemble New York Baroque Incorporated, or with Orchestra of St. Luke's as part of its own concert series. Its primary raison d'être, however, is to provide music for five choral services each week. Live webcasts of all choral services and further information including recordings of the choir may be found at the Saint Thomas Church website.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world’s greatest artists and performing approximately 80 concerts each year—including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Caramoor Summer Season, and new Resonance Chamber Music Festival debuting in June 2017. In its 42-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, has given more than 175 world, the United States, and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection.