The Festive Choir of St Elisabeth Convent has long been popular with the lovers of church music. The parishioners of Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk enjoyed its singing for a decade. However, Irina Denisova, the precentor of this choir, decided to pledge herself to the Lord in November 2007, so she became a novice, and then a nun, in St Elisabeth Convent. Soon the singers of this choir who did not want to bid farewell to their leader followed her in order to participate in worship in St Elisabeth Convent on Sundays and feasts.
All members of this choir are musicians: choir directors, musicologists, composers, performers. Among them, there are candidates of art studies, laureates and award winners of international competitions, directors and soloists of choirs in the capital city.
The repertoire of the choir has undergone significant changes during its monastery period. These changes included reduced use of author music and an emphasis on new harmonisations of znamenny and Byzantine chants. The major part of this new repertoire is represented by chants harmonised by Nun Juliania (Denisova), the precentor of the Festive Choir. The main aim of the choir has always been to make church worship beautiful and awe-inspiring.
St Elisabeth Convent released several discs with this choir, as well as The Nun – a documentary about Nun Juliania (Denisova), its precentor.
Sister Irina Kolesnikova, the conductor of the monastic choir "Anima", names five musical pieces that influenced her musical career and personal growth.
We interviewed Nun Juliania (Denisova), the precentor of the Festive Choir, and ask her to tell our readers about the choir’s new songs, about creativity, about choir singing, and about music in general.
Male Choir of St Elisabeth Convent was founded in 2001. The Choir sings in the chapel of the Boarding Home for Elderly and Less Able No.3 every Friday, and in other churches of St Elisabeth Convent every Sunday.
The lay brothers’ choir has made remarkable progress and has achieved a high standard of musical performance, on par with the other choirs and mature performers.
At Saint Elisabeth Convent, Nun Juliania is the Senior Precentor and conductor of its Festive Choir. We asked her about the meaning of her creative work and the impact of her spiritual life on her growth as a musician.
Interview with Nun Juliania (Denisova), a well-known precentor and composer of church music. The story of her life, career and coming to God.
The Monastic Сhoir of St Elisabeth Convent (Minsk, Belarus) will be touring Great Britain between September 28th and October 4th with a series of charitable concerts. The tour begins in Bristol.