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Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church

An Episcopal Church in the Anglo-Catholic Tradition Where All Are Welcome

Music Staff

Dr Gwendolyn Toth, Organist & Choirmaster and Director of Music

Dr Gwendolyn Toth

Recognized as one of America’s leading performers on early keyboard instruments, Dr Toth performs with equal ease on the organ, harpsichord, and fortepiano. Indeed, the New York Times have remarked that “her interpretive skills are sensitive and intelligent, and she clearly has a gift for program conceptualization.” As a soloist on historical organs, Dr Toth has performed and recorded on many of the great Renaissance and Baroque instruments of Europe, including the 1434 organ in Sion, Switzerland; the 15th-century organ in Oosthuizen, Netherlands; the 1509 organ in Trevi, Italy; the 1531 organ in Krewerd, Netherlands; the 1649 organ in Zeerijp, Netherlands; the 1655 organ in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam; the 1696 Arp Schnitger organ in Noordbroek, Netherlands; and the 1714 organ in St. Michael’s Church, Vienna.

Dr Toth is perhaps best known to us at Saint Ignatius of Antioch as the founder and artistic director of the acclaimed period instrument ensemble ARTEK, which most recently participated this past May in our Saint Ignatius at 150: a Festival of Early Music. Under her direction ARTEK performs regularly here in New York (often at Saint Ignatius) and has toured extensively in the United States and abroad. Their commercial recordings include Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo, Monteverdi: The Complete Madrigals, Book 5, Monteverdi: Complete Madrigals, Book 7, and Soli Deo Gloria: Cantatas of Johann Rosenmüller.

Dr Toth received her undergraduate degree (“cum laude”) from Middlebury College and an M.A. in composition from City College of the City University of New York. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in organ from the Yale University School of Music, and is currently Adjunct Professor of Historical Performance Practice at the Graduate Center, City University of New York and Orchestra Conductor at Manhattan College in Riverdale. She taught previously at Rutgers University, Barnard College, Mount Holyoke College, and Mannes College of Music, among others.

From 2008 until 2022 she was Music Director at Immanuel Lutheran Church on East 88th Street, and from 1989-2008 was Organist and Choral Director at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st Street.

Dr Toth is married to Dongsok Shin, harpsichordist of Rebel Baroque Ensemble, harpsichord tuner for the Metropolitan Opera and the Flint Collection of antique harpsichords, and an in-demand audio-video engineer. They have three children living in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Ireland, and two cats here on the Upper West Side.

You can listen to a number of Dr Toth’s organ performances on YouTube:

Jesu wollst uns weisen by Heinrich Scheidemann playing the Meister Harmannus organ, built in 1457 in the village church in Rysum, Germany

A canzona by Giovanni Gabrielli on the 1651 organ in the Jakobuskerk, Zeerijp, The Netherlands

Christ ist erstanden from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch on the ca. 1521 organ in Oosthuizen, The Netherlands

You can also listen to ARTEK perform Johann Rosenmüller’s “Ascendit Christus in altum” here at Saint Ignatius of Antioch