Festival and Contest

Dates of the following
festivals and competitions:

December, 12 — 16, 2024
December, 11 — 15, 2025

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

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

More than 2000 years ago, a significant part of the civilized world was permeated with a single feeling — the expectation of the Messiah’s advent. Expectations, of course, varied: some needed a victorious war with the enemies of the state, some — a happy and calm life there and then. The Messiah could bring all of this. But He met the expectations of only very few. Only the hearts of those who were expecting the human soul to be healed, but not the state remodeled or the society restructured, were not disappointed.

Dear festival participants! Your work throws a bridge from the present century to the very inception of our new era. A bridge from the hearts of your listeners to hearts full of anticipation of a spiritual change, meeting with the Messiah in person, with Christ. To the hearts of those people about whom the apostle Paul would soon say: “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” (Col. 3:11). May such an anticipation of the Christ’s Nativity make meeting Him especially desirable and valuable for the hearts of the citizens of Petersburg and guests of the Northern capital.

Chairman of the Council for Culture of the St. Petersburg Diocese, Chairman of the Department of Religious Education and Catechesis of the St. Petersburg Diocese, Associate Professor of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, Candidate of theology

Priest Iliya Makarov

Dear participants, organizers and guests of the 4th 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.

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


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 fourth 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 27 participants, choral groups and vocal ensembles from Republic of Belarus and many cities of the Russian Federation, which in 4 days of the festival and competition will demonstrate their choral skills to the audience.

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, Dean of the Faculty of Composition and Conducting, Head of the Department of Choral Conducting of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory named after N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, winner of the St. Petersburg Government Prize for culture and art, composer


Dear friends!

I welcome the organizers, participants and guests of the festival-competition of concert programs “In Anticipation of Christmas!

For the fourth time, St. Petersburg is hosting this festival of choral art!

For the fourth time, we will see at first hand and participate in concert events taking place in the wonderful temples of the Northern capital of Russia!

For the fourth time, the creative spirit of competition and collaboration of the participants will show our city and the world the great power and magnificence of choral performance, praising the beauty of the holiday of all Christians — the Nativity of Christ!

I wish all participants of the festival, residents and guests of St. Petersburg to get the feel of the festival aura and experience the most sincere, brightest, purest and deepest feelings these days!

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