Concert presentation of the Christmas Oratorio of Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev at St Jean Baptiste RC church in New York NY
The 11th Orthodox Russia Christmas Art Festival opened on 17 January at the Moscow International House of Music. The holiday concert shall include the Christmas Oratorio written recently by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna of the MP. The première performance of the work took place on 17 December 2007 in Washington DC, USA, whereas the first Russian performance of the work was at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire on 7 January of this year. The performers shall include the Symphony Orchestra of the Defence Ministry, the St Nicholas Choir of the Tretyakov Gallery, the chorus of the Musical College of the Moscow Conservatoire, and the Moscow Boy’s Choir. Some 200 musicians shall take part in the performance, led by Valery Khalilov, the main conductor of music in the Russian forces. Soloists are Liliya Yerokhina, Honoured Artist of Russia, and Fr Deacon Aleksandr Ageikin from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Bishop Hilarion wrote this work at the beginning of 2007. Originally, Bishop Hilarion received training in violin and composition at the Gneissen Institute before entering the clergy. He studied under the composer Vladimir Dovganya. Now, after some 20 years of inactivity, Bishop Hilarion has begun to write music again. According to Bishop Hilarion, the inspiration for this return to musical composition came quite unexpectedly. His first works were liturgical in nature, being settings of the Vigil and the Divine Liturgy, which are used regularly in the services in the cathedral in Vienna where he serves as ruling bishop. Last year, Bishop Hilarion wrote the Passion According to St Matthew, and it received premières in Rome and at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. Both performances were led by the distinguished conductor, Vladimir Fedoseyev. The Christmas Oratorio is the second concert work written by Bishop Hilarion.
17 January 2008