The Boston Byzantine Music Festival will take place on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross on February 24–25, 2014, highlighting the riches of Byzantine music and exploring connections with the music of the Near East through a series of talks and performances.
Byzantine art is commonly associated with the majestic architecture of domed cathedrals or the mystical quality of icons, but its splendor is equally visible in Byzantine chant, an a cappella musical tradition first recorded in written form over one thousand years ago.
Featuring both the spiritual chant of the Greek Orthodox Church and early Eastern Mediterranean instrumental and vocal music, the festival will demonstrate both the sacred and secular impact of the Byzantine musical tradition.
The festival will open on February 24 with a lecture by notable Greek musicologist Dr. Emmanouil Giannopouloson the history of Byzantine music. Performances by the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir will accompany the talk, entitled “Orthodox Liturgical Music’s Breeze Blows Over the Aegean.” The lecture will be followed by a concert of the acclaimed Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir, led by Demetrios Kehagias. The choir, who wowed audiences with recent performances in Istanbul and at Carnegie Hall, will chant selections on the theme of Forgiveness.
Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis will deliver on the afternoon of February 25 a free public lecture on the relationship between post-Byzantine ecclesiastical and secular oriental music. That evening, the world-renowned En Chordais musical ensemble, led by Dr. Kalaitzidis, will perform a concert of lively Byzantine-influenced early music with traditional instruments.
En Chordais fuses multicultural musical traditions of the Mediterranean and often collaborates with top musicians from Greece, Iran, Turkey, Israel, China, Canada, and Europe. They will be joined by the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir to explore new fusions of chant and instrumental music.
The festival is sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with the New York Life Center for the Study of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor at Hellenic College Holy Cross.
Individual concert tickets $40. $70 for both concerts. Student tickets $15 per concert (with valid ID). More information and tickets available at www.maryjahariscenter.org.