Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church

552 West End Avenue, New York, New York 10024
(Church Entrance on 87th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue)
Tel. (212) 580-3326 ~ Fax (212) 873-1452

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Dr Richard Porterfield Appointed Organist and Choirmaster

22 July 2019


Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr Richard Porterfield as Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, from the first of September this year. His first Sunday with the Choir will be Sunday, September 8, when we return to our program year schedule.

Dr Porterfield is a seasoned and distinguished conductor, performer, and scholar with special expertise in medieval and Renaissance music, having sung and recorded internationally, and having taught music history and theory at The Mannes College of Music, New York University, Columbia University, and, most recently, at SUNY Albany. A composer of note, his compositions for voice and instruments have been widely performed. He has previously served as music director at Christ Church Riverdale, organist at the Oratory Church of St Boniface in Brooklyn, and music director at St Agnes (RC) Church in Manhattan.

Dr Porterfield is no stranger to Saint Ignatius, having previously served as Associate Choirmaster, Sub-Organist, and chorister, as well as being a member of the parish for over twenty-five years. In addition, acclaimed vocal chamber ensemble, Lionheart, the group he co-founded in 1993, was in residence at Saint Ignatius for over twenty years. This was a time of great productivity for Dr Porterfield and Lionheart as they recorded seven albums and performed regularly around the United States and Europe, including their beloved annual Christmas performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the New York Times review of their 2010 Met concert, Allan Kozinn wrote, “Lionheart’s vocal blend is as finely calibrated as ever, and the singers perform this repertory not as antiquarian curiosities but in a way that makes it sound vital and of the present.” It is precisely this quality of seeing our musical heritage as a living tradition that makes Dr Porterfield so perfectly suited to lead our music program and uphold the highest standards of liturgical music that we have come to expect. His own deep and abiding faith will ensure that what we experience is not merely a performance, but an expression of our deepest worship of God in Christ.

Dr Porterfield was graduated from Yale University with a bachelor of arts in music composition and theatre studies and received a master of music degree in composition from The Mannes College of Music. In 2014 he received the degree of doctor of philosophy in music theory from the City University of New York Graduate Center, with a dissertation that recovers the practical musician’s understanding of mode in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, upon which he builds a comprehensive theory and method of analysis of tonal structure in Gregorian chant and related repertoires. He will continue in his research, teaching, and composition as he leads our music program forward.

The Churchwardens, Vestry, and I are very excited about this appointment and we look forward to welcoming Dr Porterfield back to Saint Ignatius. I look forward personally to working closely with him as we continue to present beautiful and appropriate liturgy and music of the highest quality in our fully inclusive, historic, Anglo-Catholic parish.


The Rev’d Dr Andrew C. Blume +