The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, partnering with the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, will present a screening of legendary director Cecil B. DeMille’s silent epic The King of Kings with live organ improvisation by Cathedral Artist in Residence David Briggs on Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 pm at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), Manhattan.
Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959)’s The King of Kings is a particularly apropos film for the Lenten season: the second in DeMille’s Biblical trilogy, the plot follows Christ, Mary Magdalen, and the Apostles through the miraculous events leading to the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
David Briggs, appointed Artist in Residence at the Cathedral in October 2017, is a master of the pipe organ and among the most prominent exponents of the art of improvisation. Having previously accompanied such classic silent films as Lang’s Metropolis and Hitchcock’s The Lodger, his legendary skill has delighted audiences the world over and inspired a rising generation of future organists.
“The goal is inevitably to make the music expand on the inherent message and emotion of the movie and the two have to be very closely dovetailed,” Briggs says. “King of Kings is a gift for the improviser: in a hushed, darkened church, with the movie looming large at the front and an improvised, dramatic, post-romantic score coming from a wonderful instrument – in the unique architectural environment of St. John the Divine – I hope the effect will be mesmerizing.”
Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets and for more information on future concerts, please visit http://www.stjohndivine.org/visit/calendar/events/music/18938/the-king-of-kings-1927-with-live-organ-accompaniment.