A Very Special "Russian Christmas" in Washington, D.C.
On December 17, a week before Christmas, a leading Russian orchestra will travel to America to perform an exceptional "world premiere" concert of Russian Christmas music at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
The music will be a completely new composition by a young Russian Orthodox Bishop, Hilarion Alfeyev, 42, the Russian Orthodox bishop for all of central Europe, based in Vienna, Austria. The music will tell the Christmas story in the deep, rich tradition of Russian ecclesial music, using the Russian language with English translations available.
"I see this unique Christmas concert, involving superb musicians and singers, as a real opportunity for Americans and Russians to share a moment of Christmas cheer, despite some of the concerns and tensions that have marked the recent relations of our two countries," Robert Moynihan, editor of Inside the Vatican Catholic news magazine, one of the sponsors of this concert, said. "And, as the concert will take place in the most important shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the United States, I hope it may have an even deeper spiritual significance, in the context of the message of Fatima, for the relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church."
The orchestra will be Russia's National Defense Ministry Orchestra, one of the country's leading orchestras, along with the choir of Moscow's famous Tretyakov Gallery.
The fact that the concert will be performed by the orchestra of the Defense Ministry means that it is occurring with the knowledge and approval of the highest levels of the Russian government.
The concert will be accompanied by an exhibit in the basement of the Basilica which will display the religious renewal of Russia after the suffering of Christians in that country during the Soviet era.
The concert is expected to be televised live around the world by the Catholic television network, EWTN.
The concert will be free and open to the public. There will be lots of seats available as not all seats will be reserved.
Order a DVD of the Christmas Oratorio (Russian Concert)!
To learn more about this and upcoming concerts, please contact our office in the US:
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Inside The Vatican (ISSN 1068-8579) is a Catholic news magazine, published monthly except July
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