Third Boston Byzantine Music Festival Set for November 13 and 14, 2015

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Boston Byzantine Music Festival Highlights the Influence of Byzantine Music on Modern and Contemporary Music in the East and West.

MARY JAHARIS CENTER FOR BYZANTINE ART AND CULTURE with the New York Life Center for the Study of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor are proud to present the BOSTON BYZANTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL

The third Boston Byzantine Music Festival highlights the influence of Byzantine music on modern and contemporary music in the East and West.

Friday, November 13, 8:00 p.m. Boston Choral Ensemble, First Church in Cambridge
Saturday, November 14, 8:00 p.m. Rebetoparea, First Church in Cambridge

Tickets: $20 per concert (advance purchase) • $30 at the door
Students: $7 per concert with valid ID

Friday, November 13, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
The Angel Cried: A Concert of Sacred Music Inspired by Eastern Orthodoxy
BOSTON CHORAL ENSEMBLE (Andrew Shenton, Director)
Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir (Grammenos Karanos, Director)

First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir joins the Boston Choral Ensemble in a concert of works inspired by the rich chant tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Post-Byzantine ecclesiastical compositions by Petros the Peloponnesian will be performed alongside contemporary works by John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, and Ivan Moody.

In its fifteenth year, Boston Choral Ensemble is an auditioned chamber choir of approximately 40 mixed voices devoted to enriching the choral art through innovative programming, artistic excellence, and creative collaboration. Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir is a vocal ensemble of students and alumni of Hellenic College Holy Cross.

Saturday, November 14, 2014, 8:00 p.m.
From Constantinople through Smyrna to Piraeus: A Night of Byzantine Chant and Rebetika Songs
REBETOPAREA (Kosmas Vrouvlianis, Director)
special appearance by GREGORY MANINAKIS
Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir (Grammenos Karanos, Director)

First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

Rebetiko—a type of song that expresses the musical folklore of Greek urban populations on the margins of society—originated in the late nineteenth century in the port cities of the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Smyrna, Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Ermoupolis, and Alexandria. Rebetoparea and acclaimed singer Gregory Maninakis perform selections from all periods of the genre’s history, including songs by Markos Vamvakaris, Vasilis Tsitsanis, and Yiannis Papaioannou. Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir will showcase the pre-history of rebetiko, which is intimately connected to the ecclesiastical music of medieval and post-medieval Constantinople.

New England favorites Rebetoparea call themselves “a fine bunch of magges and maggisses with a passion for Rebetiko.” Gregory Maninakis regularly performs traditional and contemporary Greek music in New York City and tours throughout the U.S. and Europe.

A series of free lectures and workshops related to the concerts will be presented on November 13 and 14 at Hellenic College Holy Cross, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline. Seating is limited.
Advance registration is recommended.


Friday, November 13, 2015, 2:00 p.m.
The Byzantine Octopus, or the Ramifications of Musical Traditions
FR. IVAN MOODY (CESEM - Universiade Nova, Lisbon)
Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room, Hellenic College Holy Cross
Extending throughout musical history like the tentacles of an octopus, Byzantine chant in its various forms and its descendants have provided starting points for composers of polyphonic music. Fr. Moody reflects on the surprisingly persistent influence of Byzantine and other Orthodox chant traditions in the work of a number of contemporary composers, including Michael Adamis, Arvo Pärt, Alexander Raskatov, John Tavener, and Fr. Moody himself.

Fr. Ivan Moody is an acclaimed composer, conductor, and musicologist. His music has been performed and broadcast all over the world and recorded on labels such as Hyperion, ECM, Telarc, Warner Classics, Sony, and Challenge. As a conductor, he works regularly with professional choirs and ensembles in both Europe and America and has paid special attention to contemporary music and Orthodox church music.

Saturday, November 14, 2015, 10:00 a.m.
Myth, Mimesis, and Mimicry: Rebetic and Byzantine Echoes in Traditional Greek Music
PANAYOTIS LEAGUE (Harvard University and Hellenic College)
Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room, Hellenic College Holy Cross
Panayotis League examines the role Greek Orthodox liturgical music and the syncretic urban genre rebetika play in the popular music of insular Greece. Looking at examples from western Crete, Mytilene, and Kalymnos, he explores questions of style, technique, and repertoire.

Panayotis League is among the forefront of his generation of scholar-practitioners of traditional Greek music. He researches traditional music, oral poetry, and dance in insular Greece and the Greek diaspora. An active performer on violin, various lutes, the tsambouna bagpipe, and percussion, Mr. League performs throughout the Americas and Europe and appears in over 100 recordings.

Saturday, November 14, 2015, 11:15 a.m.
Medieval Greek Folk Songs Alive and Well
PANAYOTIS LEAGUE (Harvard University and Hellenic College)
Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room, Hellenic College Holy Cross
Panayotis League teaches participants to sing and play paraloges—narrative songs of medieval origin—that are still popular on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete. All are welcome, regardless of experience or ability.

About the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art & Culture:
The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to promoting and advancing knowledge about the rich heritage of the Byzantine Empire, which lasted for more than a thousand years and spanned three continents. The Center’s mission is to create academic and educational resources that engage the wider public, scholars, and the Orthodox Christian community. Its programs encourage awareness and appreciation of Byzantium and its legacy.

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center is established at Hellenic College Holy Cross, an Orthodox Christian institution of higher education in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Center’s association with Hellenic College Holy Cross provides a singular opportunity to address Byzantine culture from the perspective of Orthodox scholarship, theology, and the arts.

Tickets and registration at If available, tickets may be purchased at the venue on the day of the performances: $30 per concert. Check or credit card only. No cash.

First Church Cambridge is located at 11 Garden Street near the corner of Garden and Mason. The closest T stop is Harvard Square (Red Line). Limited, free parking at University Place Garage, 124 Mt. Auburn Street. Parking tickets must be validated at the concert. Parking in the garage will be limited and available based on concurrent local events. Metered on-street parking is also available.

For further information, press tickets, and to arrange interviews, please contact Brandie Ratliff at mjcbac(at)

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