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Opinions & Interviews

19 Feb 2014

Archbishop Artemiy: Kalozha church music festival unites people

Archbishop Artemiy: Kalozha church music festival unites people

GRODNOб 19 February (BelTA) – The Kalozha church music festival unites people and leaves an imprint on the life of each participant, Archbishop of Grodno and Volkovysk Artemiy said at the opening ceremony of the 13th installment of the Kalozha church music international festival in Grodno on 19 February, BelTA learned.

Opening the festival, Archbishop Artemiy noted that the festival has become a very significant event not only for the Grodno Eparchy but for the entire Orthodox community of Belarus. "We call our festival a spiritual spring, not only because it is held in the run-up to the Great Lent, which believers see as a spring, as spiritual revival. This is spring for us because the music is the most immediate prayer, a direct appeal to God, which often cannot be explained by simple words but can be sung in music,” said the Archbishop. He expressed confidence that the Kalozha festival will leave an imprint on the life of every believer and the cultural life of the Belarusian society. The festival brings together everyone - adults, the elderly, children, and makes us part of one family, one spiritual brotherhood,” said the Archbishop.

The choir of the Grodno EparchyBelarus’ Deputy Culture Minister Vasily Chernik read out a letter of greetings from the Culture Minister to the organizers and participants of the festival. The Kalozha festival is superior to many cultural events in terms of importance for the country and Grodno Oblast, he told reporters. “We do not have many spiritual festivals in the country. The festival is much needed considering the fact that this is already its 13th edition, and its growing popularity among Grodno residents and visitors, secular and church performing groups from different countries. People want to come to Belarus, while we want to listen and get to know the singing tradition of other countries. This is very important today, especially in the light of the destructive spiritless processes which we see in other countries, including at our neighbors,” said Vasily Chernik.

The opening ceremony of the international song festival continued with a concert featuring the choir of the Grodno Eparchy and the choir of students of the Moscow State Conservatory, last year’s Grand Prix winner.

On 20 and 21 February the Grodno music college and the New Castle will host competition auditions and out-of-competition concerts by the choirs from Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.

The choir of the Grodno EparchyThirty-seven vocal groups from six countries will take part in the festival, director of the festival Vladimir Lebetsky informed. In addition to Belarusian choirs, the festival participants will feature four teams from Russia, three from Ukraine, two from Poland, and two teams from Romania and Armenia (one from each country). For example, among the participants will be the Avatamak choir from St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of the Etchmiadzin Monastery (Etchmiadzin is the spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church), the Platon Maiboroda academic choir of the national radio company of Ukraine, and the choir of the Moscow Old Believers’ Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God. The jury chaired by composer Archpriest Andrei Bondarenko will also include representatives of six countries.

This year the Kalozha festival will be one of the highlights of the year-long campaign “Grodno is the Capital of Culture of Belarus” which will feature more than 300 diverse events. Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, is expected to attend the closing ceremony of the festival.

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