With the blessing of Archbishop Kirill, the Bay Area’s first International Russian Choral Music Festival comes to San Francisco and Berkeley August 3-10, 2014. Four concerts offer a panorama of the exquisite Russian choral music tradition, including rare and new music that has almost never been performed outside Russia. The music ranges from ancient monastic chants to new works, including little-known music from folk and religious traditions, operatic arias and choral arrangements for a Festival Chorus of nearly 100 voices.
Conductor Irina Shachneva, Artistic Director of the Festival and of San Francisco choral ensemble Slavyanka, has assembled an international group of artists steeped in Russian music for these concerts, including Slavyanka Chorus, soloists Andrey Nemzer (winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera competition) and Mikhail Svetlov (Bolshoi bass soloist), traditional folk vocal groups Kitka and Kostroma, the Choirs of Holy Virgin Cathedral and the Church of All Russian Saints, Slavyanka Women Singers, and the Yale Russian Chorus Alumni. Concerts will take place at First Unitarian Church in San Francisco, and at St. Mark’s and First Congregational churches in Berkeley. There are also master classes for singers, and an evening of free presentations on Russian music.
The festival is grateful for the sponsorship and support of Slavyanka Chorus, the Congress of Russian Americans, the Koret Foundation, the California Arts Council, the Rachmaninoff Festival Choir of America, and individual donors.
Tickets are available at the festival website. Or call Paul Andrews at 510-798-7966 for more information.