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For over 90 years, the music program has drawn people from around the world to The Riverside Church. From our five choirs, to our carillon and four organs, to our renowned musicians, guests are certain to hear music that enlivens and nourishes the soul.
Join acclaimed Singaporean musician and composer Phoon Yu and friends, as they celebrate the Lunar New ...Read More
We have several new musicians joining us this fall. If you see them please extend a ...Read More
In Memoriam Frederick Swann July 30, 1931- November 13, 2022 The prelude and postlude in today's service honor Frederick Swann, ...Read More
Learn more about all of Riverside's choirs & ensembles.Read More
This annual series features some of the world’s most outstanding organists performing on Riverside’s famed Aeolian-Skinner ...Read More
Explore the Music at Riverside 2022-23 season.Read More
Sunday, December 18Learn More
The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon was a gift to The Riverside Church by the late John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in memory of his mother. It contains 74 bronze bells ranging in weight from the 20 ton (18 metric) Bourdon (hour bell) to the smallest treble bell of 10 pounds (4.5 kg). The Bourdon is the largest and heaviest carillon bell ever cast. The total weight of all the bells is over 100 tons (91 metric).
When installed at The Park Avenue Baptist Church in 1925 by Gillett & Johnston Foundry of England, it was already the world’s largest carillon, with 53 bells and a bourdon of ten tons. When it moved here, with the congregation, in 1930, it was enlarged by Gillett & Johnston to become the first carillon to surpass five musical octaves; it is the only carillon to have achieved a bourdon pitch of C, a full octave below the normal range for a carillon. In 1956, the upper range of bells was replaced by the Van Bergen Foundry of the Netherlands.
The Carillon can be heard played every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., and on other special occasions.
Kamiel Lefévere (1930-1960)
James R. Lawson (1960-1989)
Joseph Clair Davis (1990-1998)
Dionisio Lind (1999-2019)
Charles Semowich (2019-present)
The Riverside Church organ is one of the largest pipe organs in the world. Designed in 1948 by Virgil Fox, then organist of the Riverside Church, it was built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston, and dedicated in 1955 in concert with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos. The organ was subsequently redesigned by succeeding organist Fred Swann and enlarged over a 30-year period by Curator of Organs Anthony Bufano, to become the magnificent instrument we know today. It currently comprises 149 stops, 207 ranks, and more than 12,000 pipes spread over ten divisions divided between the Chancel and Gallery. The main Chancel console is five-manuals, with a secondary four-manual console in the Gallery. For more detailed information about the Riverside Church organs please visit the New York City Chapter Organ Project.
Dr. Harold Vincent Milligan (1930-1940)
Frederick Kinsley (1940-1946)
Virgil Fox (1946-1965)
Frederick Swann (1966-1982)
Dr. John C. Walker (1983-1992)
Dr. Timothy Smith (1992-2008)
Christopher Johnson (2009-2021)
Christopher Creaghan (2021-present)
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