Council for Culture of the St. Petersburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church
Centre for International Cultural Cooperation — «Inter Aspect»

December 12 — 15, 2019
December 10 — 13, 2020


To organizers and participants of the “In Anticipation of Christmas“ International Choral Festival-Contest

Dear fathers, brothers and sisters!

I cordially welcome you at the “In Anticipation of Christmas” International Choir Festival-Contest, which has been held in St. Petersburg for several years in preparation for the celebration of Christmas.

A good tradition of the festival-contest is to promote the development of national choral art, it is particularly significant for the younger generation of musicians who want to improve their skills.

The city on the Neva, being the center of spiritual and cultural traditions, including music, welcomes the festival participants from the cities of the world, and the most beautiful temples open their doors, inviting them to get to know the best examples of choral heritage.

I sincerely wish the young participants and their wise mentors — all guests — the joys of good communication. Let the festival provide you with opportunities for spiritual growth and multiplication of their God-given talents.

With God’s blessing, Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga His Eminence VARSONOFY


Dear participants, organizers and guests of the 3rd International choral festival and contest “In Anticipation of Christmas“!

I am happy to welcome you on behalf of the oldest Conservatory of Russia at this beautiful singing festival.

This creative project, the events of which take place in a special atmosphere of expectancy for Christmas and New Year Holidays, brings together teams from around the world and numerous regions of the Russian Federation, thus contributing to the promotion of choral art.

I sincerely wish all the participants bright performances, and the public — unforgettable impressions of involvement with choral music of different countries and nations in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, St. Petersburg.

 Wishing you further creative endeavors, Rector of the St. Petersburg N. A. Rimskiy-Korsakov State Conservatoire, Honored Artist of Russia, artistic director and conductor of the A. Paulavichyus Youth Symphonic Orchestra, рrofessor A.N. Vasiliev


Dear friends, admirers and connoisseurs of choral music!

In the fabulous, magical pre-New Year period, the cultural capital of Russia — the brilliant St. Petersburg — once again hosts choral groups from around the singing world. This time these are the participants of the “In Anticipation of Christmas“ International Festival-Contest.

This festival, held only for the third time, certainly has a color of its own — an indescribable atmosphere of the coming Christmas and New Year Holidays. This year the festival brought together about 35 participants, choral groups and vocal ensembles from Estonia and many cities of the Russian Federation, which in 4 days of the festival and competition will demonstrate their choral skills to the audience.

For the first time within the framework of the festival there will be a competition for the best performance of hymns to the Mother of God “Zealous Mediatress“, sponsored by the St. Petersburg Diocese.

I am convinced that we will have a fascinating choral contest in which the participants will be able to reveal their creative potential and gain invaluable experience to achieve new heights! And all our listeners are eagerly waiting for the magnificent competitive programs of the participating teams, imbued with true anticipation of Christmas, which will take place in the churches and cathedrals of St. Petersburg.

I wish all the contestants success, inspiration, enthusiasm and, of course, a little bit of luck! And the guests of the festival — wonderful impressions and colorful emotions from what they hear!

And, as always, let the strongest win!

Сhairman of the jury, Head of the Academic Choir Department of the School of Arts at the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, winner of the St. Petersburg Government Prize for culture and art, composer S.V. Ekimov


Dear friends!

From the bottom of my heart I greet you at the “In Anticipation of Christmas” Festival! We are always waiting, thrilled, for the coming of the magical and bright Christmas holidays, which fill our hearts with joy and warmth.

The “In Anticipation of Christmas” Festival-Contest is a unique choral project of cultural and musical life of St. Petersburg. It is choral art that immerses all of us into the centuries-old traditions of our countries, and the atmosphere of the bright holiday allows us to get acquainted with the musical works dedicated to Christmas miracles!

Concerts of the festival-contest will take place in the most beautiful churches and concert halls of St. Petersburg, attracting the attention of listeners! And participation of numerous choirs in the festival will make it possible to expand the repertoire of Christmas carols and songs, discover new modern authors and get acquainted with the musical traditions of different countries.

I sincerely wish all participants and spectators of the festival-contest much joy of the upcoming holiday and new, bright and unforgettable impressions!

Artistic director of the festival, Head of the Choral Conducting Department of the Institute of Music, Theater and Choreography of the Russian State A. I. Herzen Teachers’ University, Professor of the Academic Choir Department of the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, Honored Master of Arts of the Republic of Belarus, PhD (Art History), winner of the St. Petersburg Government Prize I.G. Matyukhov