: Announcement – Melbourne Cappella & St Nicholas Chorale, “Icons in Sound”

“Icons in Sound”
St Mary Star of the Sea, West Melbourne
Sunday July 17, 5:00pm

A choral concert part of the 2011 concert series presented by the Sacred Music Centre of St Mary Star of the Sea.

The program will be shared by two outstanding Melbourne-based choirs specialising in the performance and promotion of music of the Eastern Christian churches.

The concert will close the 6th Russian Liturgical Music National Conference and will be devoted to works by the Conference’s keynote speaker, Fr Ivan Moody and his teacher Sir John Tavener.

Fr Ivan Moody is an international authority on Eastern sacred music. He is a prolific composer and his works have been performed all over the world and recorded on many leading classical music labels including Hyperion, ECM and Sony. He is also a contributor to the revised edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology. Based in Portugal, Fr Ivan divides his time between his many engagements as an academic, conductor and speaker across Europe and throughout America.

Melbourne Cappella and St Nicholas Chorale will perform the Australian premiere of a number of Fr Ivan’s works from the past two decades. The two choirs will combine forces to present the Seven Hymns to St Sava composed in 2006. This majestic work is set to the text of the Stichera from Vespers for the Feast of St Sava, the 12th century Serbian prince and founder of the Serbian autocephalous Orthodox Church.

St Nicholas Chorale, under the direction of Symon Kohut, will present a glorious program including Rachmaninov’s early choral concerto The Theotokos, Ever-Vigilant in Prayer, and works by Tostiakov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schedrin and Tavener.

Melbourne Cappella under the direction of Nicholas Cowall will also feature a program of rarely performed 20th century choral gems for male chorus including Tavener’s Ikon of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne and choral works by Rachmaninov, Chesnokov, Trubachev and Popov-Platonov.

For more information please contact:
Symon Kohut: 0419 166 113
Nicholas Cowall: 0412176487

DATE: Sunday 17 July 2011, 5:00pm
VENUE: St Mary Star of the Sea, 33 Howard Street West Melbourne
TICKETS: $25/$15 (prebook), $30/20 (door)
BOOKINGS: http://www.trybooking.com/QMJ

Biographical Information
Fr Ivan Moody, composer
Father Ivan Moody, a priest of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Chairman of the International Society for Orthodox Music, studied music and theology at the Universities of London, Joensuu, and York. His music has been performed and broadcast all over the world and recorded on labels such as Hyperion, ECM, Telarc, Warner Classics, and Sony. His largest works to date are Passion and Resurrection (1992) and the Akathistos Hymn (1999). Recent works include Ravenna Sanctus, written for Chanticleer (2006); Stabat Mater (2008) for choir and string quartet, commissioned by the Oslo International Festival of Church and Music; and Moons and Suns (2008), commissioned by Ars Nova Copenhagen and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet. Other recent commissions include works for the King’s Singers, Seattle Pro Musica, and the English Chamber Choir. As a conductor he works regularly with choirs and ensembles in both Europe and America; as a musicologist, he has published extensively on early and contemporary music in a variety of well known journals. He is a contributor to the revised edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, and is currently a Research Fellow at CESEM — Universidade Nova, Lisbon, Portugal.

Melbourne Cappella
Melbourne Cappella made up of professional choral and operatic singers. The members of Melbourne Cappella also include finalists and prize winners of Australia’s most prestigious singing competitions. The size of the choir varies from eight to sixteen voices depending on the demands of the music. The ensemble takes the name “Cappella” from the Imperial Court Cappella of Melbourne’s sister city- St Petersburg. The Imperial Court Cappella was founded on the choral traditions of composer Dimitry Bortniansky (1751-1825). During Bortniansky’s tenure, the choir not only sang at services in the court churches, but also became increasingly involved in concert performances of opera, masses, oratorios, motets, and cantatas by non-Russian composers. Melbourne Cappella continues this same tradition of performing both sacred and secular repertoire whilst maintaining musical excellence under the direction of Nicholas Cowall, Australia’s leading interpreter and promoter of Russian Choral Repertoire.

St Nicholas Chorale
The St Nicholas Chorale was founded by Symon Kohut in 2009 as an independent choir dedicated to the performance and promotion of Eastern sacred music. Since that time, the Chorale has presented several series of concert programs at its adopted home of St Mary Star of the Sea in West Melbourne and elsewhere, spanning repertoire from 13th century chant through baroque polyphony of the 18th century to contemporary Eastern sacred music. The Chorale comprises 16 singers who come together from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds, many of whom also sing in other prominent Melbourne-based choirs: the Vocal Consort, Gloriana and The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus.