Russian Orthodox 
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Scores of the Synodal Cathedral Choral Library
 

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About the Synodal Cathedral Choir
 
 
The Synodal Cathedral Choir of New York is a professional ensemble dedicated to outstanding traditional performance of Russian Orthodox liturgical music. Organized in New York in 1952 by the renowned conductor and composer, Boris M. Ledkovsky (1894-1975), with singers that performed under his leadership in Europe during the 1940's, it strives to promote a historical repertory that inspires many church musicians of Russian emigration around the world. For nearly thirty years, since 1975, the choir was under the leadership of Alexander B. Ledkovsky (1944-2004), the founder's son. Beyond continuing the choral  performance traditions established by his father, A.B. Ledkovsky devoted himself in his last years to expanding his father's work of harmonizing festal liturgical texts according to the chant-based principles of the renowned "Moscow School" of church music. 

When illness forced A. Ledkovsky's retirement in 2002, he turned the choir to the capable hands of his protege, Irina Mozyleva. After dedicating several years to continuing the traditions of her mentor, Ms. Mozyleva chose to focus on her family and singing career. In addition to her busy recital schedule, the soprano can still be heard with the choir as a member of the ensemble and as a featured soloist. She was succeeded by the current director of the Synodal Cathedral Choir, Peter A. Fekula. A member of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia's Liturgical Music Advisory Board and long-time colleague of A. Ledkovsky, Mr. Fekula is renowned in his own right as an excellent singer, talented conductor and enthusiastic and knowledgable church musician. 
 

For more than a half-century, the choir’s activity has centered on regular services at the headquarters of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign) in New York City. In addition, the choir has undertaken many special projects, including preparing the choir for historic divine services on special occasions, numerous concerts and several recordings. Highlights of the choir’s activities over the years include a concert tour of the Holy Land and performances of sacred and secular works in venues such as New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Bartholomew's Church, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Some members of the choir participated in a concert version of Moussorgsky's opera, Khovanschina, with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall. Recently, Mr. Fekula led the choir in a commemoration of A.D. Kastalsky's jubilee year (2006) during divine services in which the music sung was exclusively that of the esteemed composer and included several extremely rare works.
 
The choir’s most recent recordings, conducted by Alexander Ledkovsky, feature selections from the All-Night Vigil Service of the Synod Cathedral’s feast day and liturgical works by the choir’s founder. They may be obtained either on cassette or compact disc at the Cathedral. 
 

Copyright © 2004 by Elizabeth A. Ledkovsky       Last update: 22-July-2009       Webmaster: Elizabeth Ledkovsky