Lyrica Classic presents
An evening of music by Emmanuel M. Dubois
For symphony orchestra and piano solo
Performed by orchestra Voce Anima, conductor Michail Kotelnikov, and pianist Mikhail Benediktov.
For symphony orchestra, choir and soprano solo
Performed by orchestra Voce Anima, Moscow Synodal Choir, conductor Michail Kotelnikov, and soprano Yulia Petrachuk.
The piano concerto “Imagine New York” is a symphonic poem, and the pianist is the narrator. “The image that stays with me since I first landed in New York, fifty years ago, is the Statue of Liberty”– says composer Emmanuel Dubois – “Liberty Enlightening the World. As the plane approached for landing, and, close behind the Statue, I saw Ellis Island where millions of immigrants had arrived by sea for decades, including my wife’s family from Ukraine, a century ago. Now, as an immigrant myself, I tried to render in music the vibrancy and hopes I experienced in the City.” The composer selected four images of New York for the Concerto’s four movements, and the pianist is the ‘immigrant’ who tells the story of the City.
The world premiere of the Piano Concerto will be performed by the orchestra Voce Anima and the famous Russian pianist, guest soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, and teacher of the St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, Mikhail Benediktov.
The oratorio “Requiem For The Fallen” is a substantial work offering an emotional and dignifying pause for reflection on the loss of life due to senseless war violence, written for soprano solo, orchestra, and chorus. The lyrics set to music are excerpts of moving poems about the loss of life by Emily Dickinson, Laurence Binyon, Rudyard Kipling, and John McCrae. The oratorio debuted in France in 2018 and was then successfully presented by Lyrica Classic in the U.S. in 2019 at Carnegie Hall in New York. In December 2020, it was virtually premiered in Russia from the Mosfilm Studio as a part of the international music project “Spreading New Music Around the World” with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. The premiere was held in honor of the memory of those who tragically died during the Second World War.
Requiem for the Fallen” will be performed by orchestra Voce Anima, Moscow Synodal Choir, and soloist Yulia Petrachuk – American-Russian soprano, soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York, and Musikverein in Vienna.
Both works will be conducted by Michail Kotelnikov – the leading young conductor of Russia, Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory teacher, and artistic director of the orchestra Voce Anima and the Synodal Youth Choir.
The biography of composer Emmanuel Dubois is a fantastic example of the American Dream. He grew up in Brussels in a large family with five brothers and sisters. He dreamed of music and had perfect pitch, but his parents were categorically against a musical career. As a result, Emmanuel received his master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Brussels, moved to the United States, and began his scientific career. Emmanuel then earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina and took up a prominent banking position. Not until the age of 46 did Dubois decide to follow his artistic dream. So, he entered the University of Michigan, where he studied composition. Within 25 years, he created about 60 works performed at the world’s leading venues.
Russian native Michail is a graduate of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory under L.Z. Kontorovich, People’s Artist of Russia. Michail Kotelnikov is one of Russia’s leading young conductors and composers and laureate of many international competitions and festivals. He also participates as a conductor in divine services in collaboration with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. His concert career as a conductor began in 2012. Since then, Michail has performed at the best concert venues of Russia, such as the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, the Moscow International House of Music, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Kremlin Palace, and many others.Currently, he is the founder, artistic director, and conductor of musical groups including the Voice Fusion Choir, the Moscow Conservatory Youth Choir, and the Synodal Youth Choir.
Mikhail Benediktov was born in 1971 in Leningrad, USSR. He studied at the Saint Petersburg Mussorgsky Music College with Professor E. Volpe between 1985 and 1989, and in 1999, he graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory under the guidance of Professor E. Bazanov.
Mikhail is a winner of numerous international competitions. From 2002 to 2008, he was a Guest Soloist of the Mariinsky Theater. Since 1997, Mikhail has been teaching at the Saint Petersburg Mussorgsky Musical College, and at the Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory since 1999. During his pedagogical career, Mikhail has been honored with many state awards for his work. Mikhail Benediktov’s students have repeatedly won international competitions.
Mikhail has toured extensively as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist throughout Russia and Europe. He has collaborated regularly with the renowned Russian singer Eugenia Smolyaninova, the winner of the “National Treasure of Russia” award. Mikhail Benediktov has also worked with famous conductors including V. Gergiev, D. Kitajenko, B. Abaljan, M. Agrest, and V. Begletsoff.
The orchestra “VOCE ANIMA” was founded in 2012 in Moscow by a graduate of the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music, Alexei Medvedev. The orchestra’s repertoire is diverse, including works by classical and contemporary composers, military-patriotic music, and programs for children and youth. But sacred music occupies a special place in the orchestra’s repertoire. In 2020, VOCE ANIMA performed several Russian premieres of spiritual works by foreign composers: the oratorio “Theophanes the Greek and St. Andrei Rublev” by Greek composer Savvas Karatzias, “Requiem” by N. Iomelli, the oratorio “Andrei Rublev” by Italian composer Monsignor Marco Frisina, and the oratorio “Requiem for the Fallen” by American-Belgian composer Emmanuel Dubois. The orchestra also performed the Russian premiere of J. Tavener’s “Elizabeth Filled with Grace,” and the online performance of the English version of the oratorio “St. Matthew Passion” by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev).
The orchestra has performed at various concert venues in Moscow such as the famous Moscow Concert Hall “Zaryadye,” the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Column Hall of the House of Unions, the Hall of Church Cathedrals, the Central Museum of Musical Culture, and many others.The orchestra has also performed with renowned conductors such as Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Honored Artist of Russia Alexey Puzakov, Monsignor Marco Frisina, and others.
Today the orchestra is conducted by its artistic director and graduate of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Michail Kotelnikov.
Ms. Petrachuk studied at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and is a graduate of Bern Opera Studio in Bern, Switzerland. Her debut as a professional opera singer was with the State Theater Bern, Switzerland, in 2010. After that, she performed with many other recognized opera companies and concert venues, such as Theater Biel (Switzerland), Ash Lawn Opera Festival (US), Opera Ischia (Italy), Dicapo Opera Theater in New York (US), Great Moscow Hall (Russia), Vocal Productions NYC (US), Nova and Opera Camerata in Washington, D.C. (US), Smetana Hall in Prague (Czech Republic), Carnegie Hall in New York (US), Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna (Austria), and many others. Yulia specializes in contemporary opera and other forms of vocal music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has performed many World and US premieres.
Out of her passion and drive to sustain and give lesser-known and unknown music a voice, Yulia Petrachuk founded Lyrica Classic Entertainment as a sounding beacon to deliver superior-level presentation of music. Yulia has robust experience in international performing arts projects, execution, and collaborations in the US and EU.
In addition, through her teaching studio, Ms. Petrachuk instills the love for classical music to new generations.
Moscow Synodal Choir
The Synodal Choir, one of the oldest professional choirs in Russia, was founded in Moscow in 1721. The Patriarchal Choir of singing sextons, originally established in the 16th century, served as a basis for the Synodal Choir. Initially, the Patriarchal Choir included only male singers from the clergy. The singing remained monophonic until the middle of the 17th century; later on, the choir began singing polyphonic scores which brought children’s voices (altos and child sopranos) into the group. When the Patriarchate was abolished in 1700, the choir became known as “Sobornal” (“cathedral”) and joined the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin. Following the establishment of the Holy Synod in 1721, the choir was transferred to this congregation and became known as the Synodal Choir.
At the turn of the 19th–20th centuries, the choir’s repertoire had greatly expanded. Many Moscow composers wrote specially for the Synodal Choir. At one point in time, even Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky took an active part in the choir’s activities.
Today’s Moscow Synodal Choir was revived in 2009 when Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk was appointed Father Superior of the Church of the Joy of All Who Sorrow. Over many years, under the direction of N. Matveyev, the choir recorded and propagated Russian sacred music on gramophone records. Alexey Puzakov became one of the choirmasters of the Skorbyashchenskiy Church (All Who Sorrow) in the 1980s. Besides participating in solemn liturgies, the Moscow Synodal Choir also performs concert programs. The choir works with the Russian National Orchestra and the P.I. Tchaikovsky Grand Symphony Orchestra. It is also involved in programs designed for Moscow Christmas and Easter festivals and important international church projects.
Alexey Puzakov, Honored Artist of Russia, is artistic director of the Moscow Synodal Choir.