Over one thousand attend St. Matthew Passion Premiere
NEW YORK, NY [SVOTS/OCA] -- Over 1,000 people streamed into Saint
Paul the Apostle Church here on Monday evening, February 7, 2011, to
hear the St. Matthew Passion, composed by His Eminence, Metropolitan
Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, an episcopal member of the Board
of Trustees of Saint Vladimir's Seminary and chairman of the Moscow
Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations.
The performance -- the US English-language premiere of the opus --
was hosted by the seminary in cooperation with the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of New York.
Maestro Greg Hobbs, who next week will conduct a performance of the
work in Dallas, took command of soloists, string orchestra, and
chorus to deliver a stately and majestic performance. Under his
baton, The Salome Chamber Orchestera; famed soloists Mary Mackenzie,
Ana Mihanovic, Blake Friedman, and Aaron Theno; and the New York
Virtuoso Singers prepared by Harold Rosenbaum, magnificently
elucidated text and music, creating a highly expressive yet sober
symphonic experience for the audience. Protodeacon Vadim Gan, who
sang the principal baritone part of "The Evangelist," anchored their
rhapsodic voices and soul-stirring strings to scriptural passages,
which he intoned with humble subtlety.
Metropolitan Hilarion studied composition at Moscow Gnessin School of
Music and subsequently at the Moscow State Conservatory. His musical
compositions include the Divine Liturgy ; the All-Night Vigil
 for a cappella choir; the Christmas Oratorio for soloists,
boys choir, mixed choir, and symphony orchestra ; and A Song of
the Ascent, a choral symphony on the Psalms .
Additional information and photos appear on the seminary web site at