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International Russian Choral Music Festival to include concerts in San Francisco

The International Russian Choral Music Festival
The International Russian Choral Music Festival
courtesy of the International Russian Choral Music Festival

During the first full week in August, Slavyanka, the 35-year-old San Francisco men’s a cappella chorus specializing in Russian and Eastern European choral music, will host the 3rd International Russian Choral Music Festival. Singers from the Bay Area will be joined by colleagues from across both North America and Russia. Two of the public concerts to be held as part of this event will be performed in San Francisco. Specifics are as follows:

  1. Sunday, August 3, 4 p.m.: The opening concert of the Festival will be a program of Russian liturgical and folk music entitled Heaven and Earth: The Roots of Russian Choral Music. The Slavyanka Men’s Chorus and Slavyanka Women Singers, both directed by Irina Shachneva, will be joined by the Choir of Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco (Vladimir Krassovsky, Director) and the Church of All Russian Saints Choir in Burlingame (Andrei Roudenko, Director). The members of both Kitka and Kostroma will also participate. The program will culminate in the West Coast premiere of “Life and Death” by Boris Kalistratov, sung jointly by Slavyanka, Kostroma, and Kitka.
  2. Saturday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.: The second San Francisco concert will be entitled Sacred and Folk, Ancient and Modern – Great Russian Choral Music for Male Choir. The program will begin with a performance by Slavyanka. This will be followed by a segment featuring the Yale Russian Chorus Alumni. The two ensembles will then combine for a concluding segment of both traditional and composed selections.

Both of these concerts will take place at the First Unitarian Church at 1187 Franklin Street on the southwest corner of Geary Boulevard. Tickets will be $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. The event pages for each of the concerts, indicated by hyperlinks above, include a hyperlink to the approach Brown Paper Tickets site for online purchase. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

In addition, the First Unitarian Church will host two auxiliary events on Thursday, August 7, between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. there will be three master classes:

  1. Mikhail Svetlov, soloist with both the Bolshoi Theater and the Metropolitan Opera, will conduct a master class for basses.
  2. Andrey Nemzer, winner of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera Competition, will conduct a master class for countertenors and mezzos.
  3. Alexander Prokhorov, Artistic Director of the Commonwealth Lyric Opera in Boston, will present a new vocal method in a master class for all voices.

This will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by a panel discussion on Russian choral music. Not all speakers have been announced, but Prokhorov will further discuss his new method All of these events will be open to the public free of charge. A registration form for the master classes is available through electronic mail.

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