Eparchial Male Choir of Saratov Ecclesiastical Province was established in December 2003 by the blessing of his Eminence Longinus, Metropolitan of Saratov and Volsk, at the Descent of the Holy Spirit Church in the city of Saratov. In addition to church services within Saratov ecclesiastical province, the choir also performs concerts and actively participates in public awareness campaigns.
The Choir gave concerts at many famous concert halls of our country including the Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory named after P.I. Tchaikovsky and the hall of Russian National Museum Association of Musical Culture named after M.I. Glinka.
The choir’s repertoire is rather vast and includes both arrangements of ancient chants and authored compositions from various musical eras. The majority of choir’s repertoire consists of pieces composed by members of Moscow Synodal School such as Pavel Chesnokov. Alexander Grechaninov, Alexander Kastal’sky, Viktor Kalinnikov and Nikolay Tolstyakov as well as compositions of modern authors which aim to replicate Russian historical traditions of liturgical singing such as deacon Sergiy Trubachev, archmandrite Matthew (Mormyl) and others.
Arguably, unique arrangements of old art songs and Russian national songs are some of the most vivid parts of the choir’s concert performance. Some of the arrangements used in the choir’s repertoire were written by the precentor Alexander Zanorin. Careful attitude and original approach towards basic principles of choral singing allowed the Choir to create its own style of Russian sacred music performance. Soft cantilena, emphatic lyrics, inspired expressions and emotional delivery – these are the factors contributing to the Choir’s outstanding performance of compositions that vary both in style and in character.
Ever since it was established, the Eparchial Male Choir has been precented by Alexander Zanorin, a graduate of Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V. Sobinov and a descendant of a renowned family of choirmasters. His dedication and tremendous creative power gives the Choir an opportunity for professional growth and accumulation of musical experience.
The choir is mostly comprised from professional musicians – students and graduates of Saratov Conservatory and Saratov Orthodox Seminary – as well as members of Saratov diocese clergy.
Currently, the choir is a close partner of Academic Symphonic Orchestra of the Philharmonic Hall of Saratov Region named after A. Shnitke.
Eparchial Male Choir of Saratov Ecclesiastical Province has participated in and received awards from various festivals such as the 625-year anniversary of the Battle of Kulikovo, the festival in memoriam of M. Rostropovich, the Golden Lights of Saratov etc. The choir also performs charity church concerts at the conservatory during annual Pimen Readings organized by the Saratov diocese.
During the decades of its existence, the choir has published several compact disks containing audio recordings of its best performances.