Moscow Sretensky Choir Begins North American Tour
Moscow Sretensky Choir Begins North American Debut Tour September 4
By Matthew Westphal
August 31, 2007
The Moscow Sretensky Choir, a 42-man a cappella
ensemble based at one of the Russian capital's
most ancient monasteries, begins a five-city
North American debut tour on Tuesday (September
4) with a concert at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
Founded in 1395, the Sretensky Monastery is now
located in 17th-century stone buildings in
Moscow. Following the Bolshevik revolution,
according to choir's website, the Soviet
authorities emptied the monastery, executed or
imprisoned the monks and used the buildings as
offices for the NKVD and its successor, the KGB.
Once the Communist regime fell, the monastery was
reconstituted and the Sretensky Choir was
established to provide music for the monastery's liturgical services.
Founded by the monastery's abbot, Archimandrite
Tikhon Shevkunov, and directed by Nikon Zhila,
the Moscow Sretensky Choir now sings the Divine
Liturgy regularly at the Sretensky Monastery as
well as at other locations; it frequently
provides music for services led by Alexei II,
Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, at the
Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin. In
addition, according to the Choir's website, Zhila
and his singers pursue an ongoing project to
research, arrange and perform older Russian
sacred music, from ancient chant to liturgical
works composed and suppressed during the Communist era.
The Choir is undertaking this North American and
round-the-world tour in celebration of the
reunification this year of the Moscow
Patriarchate with the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia, a once-bitter opponent which
maintained a separate organization and hierarchy
throughout the Communist era. The tour's concert
program includes four liturgical works and 19 folk songs and romances.
The tour itinerary includes:
* Sept. 4 - New York, NY - Avery Fisher Hall - www.lincolncenter.org
* Sept. 6 - Boston, MA Cutler Majestic Theatre - www.maj.org
* Sept. 8 - Toronto, ON - Toronto Centre for
the Arts - www.ticketmaster.ca
* Sept. 12 - Washington, DC - Coolidge
Auditorium, Library of Congress - www.ticketmaster.com
* Sept. 14 - San Francisco, CA - Davies
Symphony Hall - www.cityboxoffice.com
After departing San Francisco, the Choir
continues on to Melbourne (Sept. 21), Sydney
(Sept. 23), Geneva (Sept. 27), Berlin (Sept. 28),
London (Sept. 30) and Paris (Oct. 4).
In addition, the Sretensky Choir will provide
music for services at Russian Orthodox churches
in each city on the world tour. For a schedule of
those services, visit www.pravoslavie.ru/enarticles/071005174439.