Article written by: Seraphim Hanisch
Moscow, Russia, is one of the great centers of the performing arts in the world. Top-level musical academies, some of them named after the great composers of Russia and the Moscow Conservatory itself, dot the city. From Rachmaninoff Hall to the small and large parish churches throughout the city, and even in the stations of the Moscow Metro, one can expect to hear great music, whether that music be of the sacred works of the Orthodox Church, the great masterworks of the European composers or even modern pop music.
To this great constellation of artists, we are adding a new and bright star to the firmament.
On Tuesday, March 7th, the first rehearsal of a new symphony orchestra unfolded in one of the halls of the Moscow Representation of the Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra (Podvorye). Comprised of extremely talented and dedicated musicians ranging from students to established leading professional players, this orchestra met for the first time and engaged in a grueling and energetic rehearsal.
The works for the evening included those of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig von Beethoven and Richard Wagner. It was a mix of pieces both well known and essentially unknown, as well. This is a very good thing, as the orchestra demonstrated its ability and potential with all the works presented. The musicianship, even in this first rehearsal, was of the highest quality.
The conductor of this project is none other than Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, who is the Head Conductor of all the choirs of the Podvorye, and PaTRAM Co-founder. He has already received worldwide recognition with his orchestral and choral conducting, master classes and concerts all around the world.
Some of the symphony musicians also have impressive pedigrees, such as Ivan Paisov, an oboist from the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, and students from the Academy of Gnesin, the Musical Academia of Ippolitov-Ivanov, and the Moscow Conservatory itself.
PaTRAM is a non-profit organization in the USA created to cultivate and promote the beauty and spiritual depth of Russian Orthodox liturgical arts in general and choral singing in particular. Both Vladimir Gorbik and the Moscow Representation of the Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra (Podvorye) are widely known to PaTRAM members, students and the North American Orthodox community as a whole.
Vladimir Gorbik is one of the co-founders of PaTRAM, carrying with him the vision and charge by Metropolitan Longin of Saratov, to help American and Canadian Orthodox church singers rebuild standards of excellence in church singing. The Podvorye is, of course, Vladimir’s “home base,” and this is the place where many conductors from North America have journeyed for two conducting and choral master classes that took place in Moscow over the last two years, with a third consecutive class, the Summer Conductors’ Master Class focused explicitly on conductors, being held July 6-12, 2017.
Maestro Gorbik remains a foundational pillar of PaTRAM. In addition to the Moscow Conductors’ Master Class, he will be coming to the USA to lead the Master Class for Singers to be held from June 29th through July 2nd, 2017 in Dania Beach, Florida, near Miami.
Maestro Gorbik’s conducting and singing classes with PaTRAM, like those at the Moscow Conservatory, form some of the most capable conductors and singers to be found. Maestro Gorbik is known for his ability to evoke the most beautiful and effective nuance in all manner of music, and he is supremely gifted in transmitting this technique to his students, everywhere.
We can expect future concerts given by Maestro Gorbik to include this Symphony Orchestra together with the United Choir of the Moscow Representation of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. This project has as its goal, quite simply, to perform the best classical music in existence in venues throughout the Russian Federation (the former CIS states) and around the world.
The Orchestra’s premiere concert, on May 27th of this year, will open the symphony’s season and will feature selections from Mozart’s Requiem. This concert will be held in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
This project is made possible through the great support of the Moscow Conservatory and we would like to offer, in advance, our grateful acknowledgement to them, as well as to our friends like Alexandr Krauter, the Head Producer for “Gosconcert”, which features Russia’s finest musicians in concerts given all over the world.