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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 12, 2007

Hancher presents Russian Patriarchate Choir Nov. 1 in Clapp Recital Hall

The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will present a performance by the Russian Patriarchate Choir at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in Clapp Recital Hall. The program will include ancient music of the Russian Orthodox tradition, as well as "Songs of Old Russia" and choral works by Rachmaninoff.

The fall of the Soviet Union led to a resurgence of religious activity in Russia, including renewed interest in the musical tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. Since 1983, the Russian Patriarchate Choir has been a leader in illuminating Russian church music, first by decoding ancient manuscripts and then by performing works that had been lost in the mists of time and politics.

The choir, which was founded by Anatoly Grindenko near the end of the Soviet era, consists of the traditional 12-13 members. In addition to performing in Russia -- where it is an actual church choir -- and internationally, the singers are dedicated scholars of the repertoire for male voices.

The choir spent years decoding ancient manuscripts and giving the first performances of works that had laid in obscurity for centuries. With the collapse of the Soviet Union came the opportunity for them to perform internationally and bring the music to a wide public.

Through their live performances and many recordings they have reached a huge worldwide audience, appearing throughout Europe and Scandinavia, at festivals in Utrecht, London, Maastricht, Barcelona and Ravenna, and at Les Folles Journées in Nancy.

Critic Ivan Moody wrote in response to one of the group's CDs, "The Russian Patriarchate Choir sings, as ever, with superb blend and breath control (it is hard to believe that the singers ever do actually breathe, so seamless are their melodic lines) and a profound feeling for the spiritual impetus and liturgical purpose behind this extraordinary music."

The Nov. 1 performance is supported by the Iowa House Hotel, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $38; UI student $15; senior citizen $34.20; youth $26.60.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered online 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications, 773-525-3974,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),

PHOTOS are available at