Available for touring globally. Invitations welcome. Booking dates now in Europe: December 2022
"Unaccompanied religious choral music at its purest and most beguilingly direct."
- David Hart, Birmingham Post
"...magnificent force and vibrancy...richly resonant, and evoking not only the wealth of the St Petersburg performing tradition, but the vast heritage of Russian Orthodox music, too. The discipline of the Chorus and the tight control exercised by their conductor, Andrei Petrenko, was paramount."
- Rian Evans, The Guardian
The Mariinsky Chorus from St. Petersburg, The Russian Federation, is well known both in its homeland and abroad. It has been acknowledged for its high degree of professional musicianship, but also for its history, which is rich in events and is closely linked to the development of Russian music.
The Music Director and Principal Chorus Master is
In the mid-19th century, a period of intense activity by the outstanding opera conductor Eduard Nápravník, the Mariinsky Theatre staged the first productions of the acclaimed operas by Borodin, Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. The large-scale choral scenes in these operas were performed by the Mariinsky Chorus, an integral and dazzling component of the Opera Company. The successful development of choral performance traditions at the theatre was due to the lofty professional endeavours of such outstanding chorus masters as Karl Kutschera, Ivan Pomazansky, Yevstafy Azeyev and Grigory Kazachenko. The foundations they laid were lovingly maintained by their successors, among them such chorus masters as Vladimir Stepanov, Avenir Mikhailov and Alexander Murin. Andrei Petrenko has been the Mariinsky Theatre Chorus Master since 2000.
The Mariinsky Theatre’s Chorus possesses a beautiful and powerful sound as well as an unusually rich sound palette. During performances the members of the chorus also demonstrate their vivid acting skills. The Chorus regularly appears at international festivals and performs in world premieres. Today it is one of the world’s leading choral ensembles.
The chorus’ repertoire currently encompasses over sixty (60) Russian and European classical operas as well as a huge number of a cappella cantata and oratorio works. In addition to Italian, German, French and Russian operas performed at the Mariinsky Theatre are such works as the Requiems by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Luigi Cherubini, Giuseppe Verdi, Hector Berlioz and Maurice Duruflé; Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Gioachino Rossini’s Stabat Mater.
The chorus’ repertoire similarly covers a broad range of spiritual music by Dmitry Bortnyansky, Maxim Berezovsky, Artemy Vedel, Stepan Degtyarev, Alexander Arkhangelsky, Alexander Gretchaninov, Stevan Mokranjac, Pavel Chesnokov, Igor Stravinsky, Alexander Kastalsky (Fraternal Commemoration), Sergei Rachmaninoff (The All-Night Vigil and The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom) and Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom). To the latter adds secular Russian and European music, e.g. by Sergei Taneyev, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitry Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov, Valery Gavrilin and Sofia Gubaidulina among other composers.
The Chorus has performed a cappella programmes at prestigious venues in Russia, Lithuania, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Israel and Denmark.
The Mariinsky Chorus regularly performs in the programmes of the Moscow Easter Festival and the international festival that commemorates the Russia Day. The Chorus took part in the first performances of Sofia Gubaidulina’s St John’s Passion and St John Easter, Vladimir Martynov’s Vita Nuova and Alexander Smelkov’s The Brothers Karamazov, as well as the Russian premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera The Enchanted Wanderer (2007).
The Mariinsky Chorus has taken part in a number of recordings for the Mariinsky label under the baton of Valery Gergiev, among them Shostakovich’s The Nose (2009), Tchaikovsky’s Moscow cantata (2009), Wagner’s Parsifal (2010), Shchedrin’s The Enchanted Wanderer (2010), Shostakovich’s Second and Eleventh Symphonies (2010), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (2011) and Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Oedipus Rex (2010). For this last recording the chorus won one of its most prestigious prizes – the coveted ICMA 2011 award “For the Best Work by a Chorus”, beating sixteen other European choruses in this category. Previously, for its recording of Sofia Gubaidulina’s St John’s Passion in 2003, the Mariinsky Chorus under Valery Gergiev received a Grammy nomination in the category “Best Choral Performance”.
Selection of Programmes
1. Russian choral music XX century
Georgy Sviridov - "Pushkin's Garland", choral concerto on verses by Alexander Pushkin (1979), selected choral music, Valery Gavrilin - Perezvony, folk choral symphony (1982)
2. Petersburg Serenades
Russian choral music including Alexander Alyabyev, Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Varlamov, Alexander Dargomyzhsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Anton Arensky, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Smirnov, folk songs arrangements
3. Sergei Rachmaninoff
All-Night Vigil (1915)
4. Sergei Rachmaninoff
The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (1910)
5. Pyotr Tchaikovsky
The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (1878), selected choral works
6. Alexander Gretchaninov
Passion Week (1911)
7. Russian romances and songs
Anton Arensky, Alexander Alyabyev, Alexander Varlamov, Anatoly Novikov, Dmitry Smirnov, Georgy Sviridov, Pyotr Tchaikovsky + more
8. 7 Centuries Masterpieces (Western European Sacred Music)
Josquin Desprez, Antonio Lotti, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Gregorio Allegri, Georg Friedrich Händel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Bruckner, Charles Gounod, John Kenneth Tavener, Arvo Pärt
In addition: Martin Palmeri's Misa Tango - Misa a Buenos Aires with the Mariinsky Chorus, Petrenko (conductor) and Aydar Gainullin (button accordion) will be avilable after the 20 April 2019. (The second part of the concert also includes choral works by Aydar as composer.)