Boston Byzantine Music Festival at the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Arts & Culture: Celebrating 1000 Years of Musical Tradition

The first annual Boston Byzantine Music 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 of Ioannina, and Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, Faculty of Music Studies, University of Athens.

Photo of En Chordais courtesy Photeini Kalaitzidou (Left).

Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine
Choir image © Dimitrios Panagos (Right).

The inaugural festival will open on February 24 with a lecture by Dr. Emmanouil Giannopoulos on the history of Byzantine music. A performance by the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir, led by Dr. Grammenos Karanos, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Music, will accompany and illustrate points of 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 will chant selections from the Lenten hymnology of the Orthodox Church.

On the afternoon of February 25, Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, artistic director of En Chordais, will deliver a free public lecture on the relationship between post-Byzantine ecclesiastical and secular oriental music. That evening, the world- renowned En Chordais, led by Dr. Kalaitzidis, musical ensemble will perform a concert highlighting the Byzantine musical heritage in Asia Minor.

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 Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Arts and Culture was Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation. The Center is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

Individual concert tickets $40. $70 for both concerts. Student tickets $15 per concert (with valid ID). Tickets available through Center website: or by phone sales at Brown Paper Tickets: 1-800-838-3006 (Press 1 and mention the Boston Byzantine Music Festival.)

For more information, contact the Jaharis Center at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, 50 Goddard Ave., Brookline, MA 02445, (tel.) 617-850-1242, and (email)

(Posting date 31 January 2014)

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