ISOCM News

Tenth Anniversary Orthodox Music Conference Opens June 8

Joensuu, Finland – The Sixth International Conference on Orthodox Church Music will include presentations by musicologists and specialists from twenty-two different countries and an evening concert by the world renowned Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.

This year’s conference also marks the tenth anniversary of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM), which was founded in 2005 at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu. The theme of this year’s conference is “Creating Liturgically: Hymnography and Music,” focusing on the historical and modern ability of Orthodox church music to reflect the creative spirit of humanity.

“The ISOCM was founded ten years ago, and I can say without fear of contradiction that it has became a beacon in the Orthodox world,” said the Rev Ivan Moody, chair of the Society’s board. “Musicians and scholars of all kinds come together in celebration of the rich artistic heritage of Orthodoxy.”

In addition to the presentation, the conference include a concert by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir at the Lutheran Church of Joensuu (Papinkatu 1) on Tuesday, 9 June 2015. The event, which begins at 19:00 and feature the works of Sergei Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt, and Georgy Sviridov and Father Moody’s own piece, “Thy Fatherly Embrace.”

“The Society is delighted that the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will be participating in this year’s 10th Anniversary Conference with a concert devoted to music by contemporary Orthodox composers,” said Father Moody. “It is extremely important that contemporary composition in the Orthodox world be given its full due, and there is no better vehicle for this than the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.”

Tickets to the concert can be purchased through Lippupalvelu (http://www.lippupalvelu.fi/event/viron-filharmoninen-kamarikuoroisocm-10-vuotta-arvo-part-80-vuotta-tickets/156075) and the conference presentations are also open to the public at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus, 8-14 June 2015. Sessions are held in the Agora building (Yliopistokatu 4, Philosophical Faculty, School of Theology, auditorium AT100).

While each ISOCM conference focuses on themes related to Orthodox Christian church music, participants have come from a variety of religious traditions suggesting a growing interest in Eastern Christian music beyond its own members. “The fact of its geographical location here in Finnish Karelia provides a unique and beautiful setting for an event that is truly international in scope,” Father Moody said, noting, “This has contributed hugely to the study and dissemination of Orthodox church music throughout the world by means of the conferences and its publications.”

The week-long gathering affirms the mission of ISOCM as a place in which like-minded people can come together and share their vision, and learn from others. In addition to the schedule of presentations and discussions on the conference theme, a number of divine services, workshops, and concerts will provide attendees with the opportunity to worship and sing together, while enjoying fellowship.

The proceedings from the most recent conference in 2013 will be made available during the conference, and copies may also be purchased in advance here.

For more information about this year’s conference, click here.

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