25th Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musicians' Conference
- Mother Juliana (Denisova), St Elizabeth Convent, Minsk, Belarus
- Dr. Peter Jermihov - Dr. Kurt Sander - Dr. Nicholas Schidlovsky
Mother Juliana (Denisova)
The conductor Peter Jermihov, D.Mus.A., was born in Chicago of Russian émigré parents. An advocate of the Russian School of Conducting, he has cultivated a versatile career by combining professional conducting engagements with teaching appointments, choral with orchestral conducting, and music-making with research. As an internationally recognized specialist in Russian music and Orthodox liturgical music, Dr. Jermihov is also a devoted proponent of East–West cultural exchange. Here in the United States, he has promoted the music of Valery Gavrilin, Sofia Gubaidulina, Gennadiy Lapayev, Arvo Pärt, Rodion Schedrin, Alfred Schnitke, and Georgy Sviridov, and many other Russian and Eastern European composers. In Soviet Russia, he conducted premiere performances of Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 4 with the country’s leading orchestras. In post–1991 Russia, he introduced the compositions of numerous American and British composers, such as Ben Johnston, Ivan Moody, Kurt Sander, Phillip Schroeder, John Tavener, and Tikey Zes. Dr. Jermihov’s doctoral dissertation was dedicated to Georgy Sviridov, and he continues to champion the music of this major composer in the West.
Peter Jermihov came to the St. Petersburg State Conservatory as a Fulbright–Hays Fellow and International Research and Exchanges Board Scholar to study orchestral conducting under the legendary master teacher Ilya Musin. After two years of intensive studies, he was invited to guest-conduct the country’s top ensembles: the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg and Moscow Chamber Choirs, among others. Subsequently, he made guest-conducting appearances with major orchestras in the Far East and Europe, such as the Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo and the Pro Arte Orchester Wien. In 1988, he participated in a historic celebration of a Thousand Years of Christianity in Russia by conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Symphony No. 5. He continues to guest-conduct internationally acclaimed choirs and orchestras in the Far East, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the United States.
During his formative years, Dr. Jermihov studied conducting under such renowned choral masters as Eric Erickson of Sweden, Vladimir Minin of Russia, and Helmuth Rilling of Germany. He was invited to the Tanglewood Music Center under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa as a Conducting Fellow, and to the American Orchestra League’s Conducting Seminars under Kurt Masur and Leonard Slatkin as an Active Participant. Appearing with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Jermihov was selected as a Finalist in the Afﬁliate Artists Conductor’s Program. He had the privilege of preparing choruses for performance with such noted conductors as James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, and Vladimir Minin and served as assistant conductor to Robert Shaw, preparing Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem at the 2nd World Symposium on Choral Music in Stockholm.
Dr. Jermihov has served as director of choral and orchestral activities at several major state universities and private colleges. His articles and editions of choral music have appeared in the Choral Journal, International Federation of Choral Music Journal, Musica Russica, Inc., PSALM Music Press, and numerous other publications. His translation of Ilya Musin’s landmark book, On Educating a Conductor, is being prepared for publication. See www.peterjermihov.com and www.societyromanos.org for more background.
Composer Kurt Sander teaches Music Theory and Musicianship at the Summer School of Liturgical Music (SSLM) in Jordanville, New York. Sander graduated from SSLM in 1994 and returned as an instructor in 2011, by this time himself an experienced church choir director, having led Russian Orthodox liturgical choirs in Cleveland and Cincinnati. He incorporates elements of liturgical music into his teaching, making theory and musicianship skills directly relevant to the students’ practical work in their home choirs.
His compositions have been performed in ten countries on four different continents. Hailed by one critic for writing “intensely beautiful spiritual music,” Sander seeks to capture the sublime dimensions of the Eastern Orthodox faith in both his choral and instrumental works. His sacred choral work has been sung by some of the country’s finest choirs of Orthodox choral music, including Cappella Romana, the St. Romanos Cappella, Conquering Time Ensemble, Archangel Voices, and the Patriarch Tikhon Choir. His works have also been featured at the CREDO International Festival of Orthodox Choral Music in Estonia, performed by the Orthodox Singers under the direction of Valery Petrov. Sander’s recent CD recording, As Far as the East is from the West: New Orthodox Choral Music of Gennady Lapaev and Kurt Sander, featuring the East/West Festival Choir under the direction of Peter Jermihov, was released in 2013 and is available through a variety of retail and online distributors.
While he has written extensively for the voice, he has also received praise for his chamber and symphonic music. His instrumental works have been performed by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the Brasov Philharmonic (Romania), the Plevan Philharmonic (Bulgaria), and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Synchronia, the Corbett Trio, the Solaris Wind Quintet, the St. Petersburg Quartet, and Romanian cellist Anton Niculescu.
As a researcher, his work explores the relationships between Orthodox iconography and music and how theology and sacred traditions inform the creative process. He also has written extensively on the work of contemporary Orthodox composer Arvo Pärt. He has given numerous presentations on these and other topics at various symposia, conferences, and choral workshops.
Sander holds a doctorate in music composition from Northwestern University, where he studied with Alan Stout and Andrew Imbrie, and a master’s degree in composition from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Alan Sapp. Other teachers include Rudolph Bubalo and Bain Murray.
To learn more about Kurt Sander, visit his website: http://orthodoxchoralmusic.com
Nicolas Schidlovsky, PhD, is a musicologist and chant specialist. He received his Ph.D. and M.F.A. from Princeton University’s Department of Music and his B.A. from Williams College. During his career he has been a pianist, composer, and collegium director with an extensive record as a music educator, keyboard artist, internationally published musicologist, ethnomusicologist, and world music specialist. Dr. Schidlovsky has given many public lectures, seminars, and related teaching events as an invited speaker at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution, the Dumbarton Oaks Research Center (Trustees for Harvard University) in Washington, DC, and the Moscow Conservatory. He is the recipient of prestigious awards as musician and leading scholar of global music (in research and performance) from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Martha B. Rockefeller Fund for Music, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Fulbright–Hays Program, and the American Council of Learned Societies.
His published work includes contributions to The Study of Medieval Chant: Paths and Bridges, East and West (Essays in Honor of Kenneth Levy) (Princeton University, Rochester, NY, 2001); Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae (2 vols., The Hague, 2000); Dictionary of the Middle Ages (Charles Scribner, New York, 1989); and Russian Theoretical Thought in Music (Ann Arbor, 1983; reprinted by The University of Rochester Press, 2009). He is currently affiliated with the Westminster College of the Arts in Princeton, New Jersey, and is active as a faculty artist and pianist at The Music Place, the private music studio he has established with his wife, Angelina Shapoval, in Kingston, New Jersey. To learn more, visit http://www.rider.edu/faculty/nicolas-schidlovsky
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