The 18th  Festival of orthodox church music « Golden Plios »

The traditional festival of church orthodox music «Golden Plios» took place in Ivanovo on September 21-23, 2007 , initiated by the art association "Sheremetev Center", the "Sheremetevsky Fund" and the "Consultant" company.

The main participants of the festival were the Ivanovo Chamber Choir ( conductor - Eugeny Bobrov), the Yaroslavl Chamber Choir "Revival"  ( conductor - Natalia Borisova), the male choir of the Preobrazhenskiy cathedral in Ivanovo (regent - archpriest George Chulkov) . The Byzantine male choir from Athens (Greece) was a special guest of this Festival (conductor – Konstantinos Papachristodoulou).

The festival opened with a Liturgy at the Preobrazhenskiy cathedral in Ivanovo. Later that day the concert of all participating choirs took place at the White Hall of the Burylin local lore museum . The concert was attended by representatives of regional Committee of Culture, count Sheremetev and local clergy headed by Father Joseph.

On September 22 the festival  moved to Plios  where a religious procession with church chanting took place around the city. During this procession numerous pieces of orthodox music were sung in Trinity Church, Transfiguration Church and Dormition Church. It was followed by a concert at the Museum of the Landscape.The program included both church and secular music as well as Russian and Greek folk songs.

On September 23 the festival participants were invited to visit Svyato -Uspensky monastery where they had a chance  to get acquainted with the process of  theological education at the female college and to listen to a concert of a children's choir.

The closing of the festival took place at the Pavlovsky Palace in Shuya (Ivanovo region). All the participating choirs were awarded with  special Diplomas and memorable gifts.

 Letter of Gratitude

With the help of God, we finally arrived to Greece. I would like to thank you personally once again for the chance you offered us to travel to blessed Russia and show Byzantine music to all people there. I believe that through our several appearances we managed to prove that Byzantine music is a treasure which cites the roots of Orthodoxy, as it was also said many times by our Russian brothers. Additionally, I believe that we touched your souls with our music and we realized that from the reactions of your people. However, I cannot also do anything else than recognize the excellence of your music interpretation. As you know polyphonic and European music is known to Greeks. We love it as much as Byzantine and traditional music. That is why the music you interpreted so perfectly touched our souls many times. We thank you for this experience too. Apart from this, I also think that the members of our choirs, especially the young ones, expanded their friendly relationships and the brotherhood.  What finally remained to us is the love that you offered us generously, your faith to Orthodoxy, which was for us an excellent example, and finally the warm atmosphere that was created between us and the glory of music! This travel and these unique experiences which had in Russia will be for us unforgettable!  

With love and best wishes,   Konstantinos Papaxristodoulou   (Athens, Greece)