The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, officially the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in the City and Diocese of New York, is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City in Manhattan's Morningside Heights, the cathedral disputes with Liverpool Anglican Cathedral the title of the largest cathedral and Anglican church and fourth largest Christian church in the World. The inside covers 121,000 sq ft (11,200 sq m), spanning a length of 183.2 meters (601 ft) and height 70.7 meters (232 ft). The inside height of the nave is 37.8 meters (124 feet). The cathedral is nicknamed St. John the Unfinished.
Concerts and Activities
The size of the church's interior, larger than that of any of the European cathedrals, presents a superlative level of natural acoustics that confer a reverb time greater than eight seconds and an organic brilliance of tone. Music of many genres, including chant, choral music, organ music, and hymnody adapted for large cathedrals is therefore important for the worship regularly celebrated in its nave.
The cathedral is additionally a major center for concert musical performances in New York. Organ recitals are held regularly weekdays at noon and most Sundays at 5:15pm, as well as on special occasions. In addition, several times a year on selected Sundays at 5:15pm, the St. James's Recital Series features performances by local musicians, pianists in particular; recitals follow the 4pm Choral Evensong in St. James Chapel and are free and open to the public. The cathedral has an annual New Year's Eve Concert for Peace.
The Postlude to Act I of Leonard Bernstein's opera Quiet Place received its New York premiere at the 1985 concert. The 1990 concert was a tribute to Bernstein himself, who helped found the event and had died two months earlier on October 14. The Congregation of Saint Saviour, a separately incorporated congregation, makes its home at the cathedral. It offers events, classes and programs.
The Great Organ was built by the renowned organbuilder E.M. Skinner in 1911. It is one of five organs in the cathedral complex. It is located above the Choir on the North and South sides. In 1952, it was enlarged by the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company. During this rebuild, the State Trumpet was added and placed below the rose window. Speaking on fifty inches of wind pressure, it is among the most powerful organ stops in the world. In late 2001, a fire in the North Transept resulted in heavy smoke damage to the organ. The Great Organ is currently valued at over eight million U.S. dollars.