LSM Newswire

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Concert of Musical Reflection, a Meeting in Sacred Music

Toronto A gathering of faiths, an orchestra of voices, an understanding of religions, a celebration of music, an architectural vision of beauty so many reasons to make your way to St. Paul's Basilica for St. Michael's Choir School's performance of St. Matthew Passion by composer and Most Reverend Hilarion Alfeyev Russian Orthodox Bishop of Vienna on Friday, October 24, 2008 at 7:30 pm.

This North American premiere performance, sung in English text, will feature guest soloists Wanda Thorne, Soprano, James McLennan, Tenor, Robert Pomakov, Narrator/Bass, with the Senior Choir of St. Michael's Choir School and accompanied by a string orchestra, conducted by Dr. Jerzy Cichocki. Bishop Hilarion will also be in attendance and this performance will be recorded for broadcast by Salt & Light Television. Admission is free.

Founded in 1937 with the purpose of providing sacred music for the religious services of St. Michael's Cathedral in downtown Toronto, St. Michael's Choir School has evolved into a centre for musical and academic excellence recognized the world over. It is one of only six choir schools in the world affiliated with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome. Each student admitted to the Choir School is trained in vocal, technical, and instrumental music, and performs in one of the school's choirs.

While remaining at the forefront of music education in Toronto, the Choir School has also long maintained the highest of academic standards, recognized most recently by the perfect score awarded its academic program by the Fraser Institute. St. Michael's Choir School has stayed true to Monsignor Ronan's vision of preparing young men to serve God through music and meaningful civic action. For seventy years, graduates of the Choir School have found their calling in science, education, medicine, law, business, and of course music. Included among the scholars and musicians who call St. Michael's Choir School their alma mater are the famous Crew Cuts and Four Lads of the 1950s to present-day artists such as Michael Schade, John McDermott, Stewart Goodyear, Kevin Hearn (The Barenaked Ladies), Robert Pomakov, Matt Dusk, Michael Colvin, Claude Morrison (The Nylons), and Michael Burgess.

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, born 1966, received his initial education in music, studying violin, piano and composition, at the Moscow Gnessins School and the Moscow State Conservatory. After military service he entered the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he was tonsured a monk and later ordained to the priesthood. He has taught Homiletics, Dogmatic Theology, New Testament Studies and Byzantine Greek at the Moscow Theological Schools. In 1995 he completed his doctoral studies at Oxford University and in 2001, he was elected Bishop and consecrated by His Holiness Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Bishop Hilarion is the author of more than 300 publications, including numerous books in Russian, English, French, Italian, German and Finnish. Apart from his doctoral degree in philosophy from Oxford, he also holds a doctorate in theology from St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. His music continues to be performed internationally.

St. Michael's Choir School's concert will be held at St. Paul's Basilica, 83 Power St. (Queen & Parliament) at 7:30 pm on Friday, October 24, 2008. Admission is free.

This concert is generously supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation & Jim and Margaret Fleck.
For more information, please visit www.smcs.on.ca or call (416) 393-5518.

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