The Moscow Russian Patriarchate Choir

Anatoly Grindenko Artistic Director

Programmes

Founded by Anatoly Grindenko in the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra monastery, near Moscow, the Moscow Russian Patriarchate Choir was created in 1980. Following tradition, it is composed of 12 to 13 members. The singers were all eminent researchers, passionate about the repertoire of compositions for male voices, from the religious music of the Orthodox Church to the lay songs of the final years of the Soviet regime. At the time, the choir spent several years deciphering ancient manuscripts and giving representations of works that had until then been in the shadows, sometimes for centuries. With the collapse of the USSR, the choir was able to open up to the world and perform in Europe and America, exposing its music to a much larger public. Thus, through recorded concerts, the choir built a solid international reputation to match the beauty of the voices that make it up. In 1988, the choir was awarded the Grand Prix of the Ohrid Summer Festival in Macedonia.

 

Highly flexible in its choice of repertoire, the choir tackles very eclectic musical styles: Ancient and spiritual music that used to be presented in churches in past times, but also traditional Russian folk song. In excellent Monodic or Faux Bourdon style, this prestigious choir revives the whole repertoire of 14th to 19th century Russia, be it popular chants or masterpieces of sacred music by Russian masters such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Gretchaninov or Sviridov.

 

Quickly recognized for the excellence of its interpretations and the quality of its musical research, the choir has recorded 13 albums in France (Opus 111), 3 in Russia and 1 each in Germany and Poland. These records are constantly receiving awards, including the prestigious Diapason d’Or.

 

The choir’s tours extend from Austria (Mozerthaus), Hungary (Haydn Hall in the Esterhazy palace) to the Netherlands (The Utrecht and Maastricht festivals), Italie (Rome, Venise), Angleterre (Poole, Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Manchester), Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Latvia and on to the United States (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Detroit, Santa Barbara, Miami, Washington, Chicago and New-York Lincoln Center), Japan (Tokyo, Biwako, Niigata).

 

The Choir is also a regular guest at French festivals: "La Folle Journée de Nantes", "Musiques sacrées, musiques du monde of the Abbaye de Silvanes", "Des Rencontres internationales de la musique médiévale du Thoronet", the Festival de l’art sacré of Champeaux, the Festival de l’Abbaye de l’Epau, "Voix et Route Romane", "Le Rivage des Voix", the Lourdes International Sacred Music Festival and many others.

 

Anatoly Grindenko artistic director

Hailing from Kharkov in Ukraine, Anatoly Grindenko learned to play the violin in various specialized schools in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Soon after he obtained his diploma from the Moscow Conservatory, he gave several concerts in Russia and abroad, playing the viola da gamba, accompanied by his sister Tatiana on the violin and Alexei Lubimov on the harpsichord. Then, as part of the trio Orpharyon, he participated in many ancient music festivals in Europe and the US. It was in 1980 that he founded the Student Choir of the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra monastery, in Zagorsk. His purpose was to restore ancient Russian choir song, a project that is particularly dear to his heart. The following year, the choir moved to the Danilov monastery in Moscow. In 1985, with the blessing of the Archbishop Pitirim, the choir came under the Moscow Patriarchate. Since then, the choir has regularly accompanied religious services with orthodox songs of ancient Russia, according to its founder’s original wish. Anatoly Grindenko co-authored a book, Harmonia Divina (with Ovchinnikov, an ancient icon restorer, Opus-111, 1998) in which he shares his philosophical and theological thoughts on ancient Russian art and its ties to Egyptian and Byzantine arts.

In 2013 he was awarded by a prestigious grant of the President of Russian Federation.

Since 2015 he is a member of the jury of the Russian folk music festival “The Music of the Earth” whose Artistic Director is famous pianist Boris Berezovsky.