Mary Jaharis Center Presents Boston Byzantine Music Festival

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 are proud to present the Boston Byzantine Music Festival at the Maliotis Center on the HCHC campus on February 24–25, 2014. 

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The festival will feature concerts by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir and by the ensemble En Chordais, with lectures by Dr. Emmanouil Giannopoulos, Assistant Professor at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy in Ioannina, Greece, and Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, Faculty of Music Studies, University of Athens.

Photo of En Chordais courtesy Photeini Kalaitzidou. Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir image © Dimitrios Panagos.

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. More properly called psaltic art, Byzantine chant is an a cappella musical tradition that has been recorded in written form for over one thousand years. The festival coincides with the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the New Method of Analytical Notation, a major landmark in the history of Byzantine music.

The purpose of the annual Boston Byzantine Music Festival is to highlight the power of this music and introduce it to a wider audience. As one of the world’s great cultural and academic centers, Boston is an ideal place for the promotion of our knowledge of this relatively unknown cultural treasure. 

The inaugural festival will open on February 24 with a joint lecture and concert. In the course of Dr. Giannopoulos’s lecture, “Orthodox Liturgical Music’s Breeze Blows Over the Aegean,” the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir, led by Dr. Grammenos Karanos, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Music, will illustrate points from the talk through performance. The lecture will be followed by a concert of the acclaimed Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir, led by Demetrios Kehagias. The choir will chant selections from the Lenten hymnology of the Orthodox Church.

On the afternoon of February 25, Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis will deliver 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 highlighting the Byzantine musical heritage in Asia Minor.

Individual concert tickets $40. $70 for both concerts. Student tickets $15 per concert. More information and tickets available at www.maryjahariscenter.org