Between Constantinople and Jerusalem: Music and Sacred Ritual in Medieval Slavia Orthodoxa

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Along with the written word, music and sacred ritual have given form and content to the Slavic-speaking world from time of their Christianization in the 9th century down to the present day. For the Slavs, the period from the end of the 12th to the beginning of the 14th century was a time of transition in their religious life. Marked by historical upheavals, this time witnessed the last flowering of the archaic rituals they received from Byzantium against a backdrop of change, witnessing the all-important confluence of two great liturgical traditions, Constantinopolitan and emergent Jerusalem. Music, whose role in the ser­vices was organic, served as a barometer for the imminent transition. This lecture explores some of these rituals through their music from this time of monumental change.

Gregory Myers holds a MLIS and a PhD. in historical musicology de­grees from the University of British Columbia. An independent scholar, publisher, translator and bibliographer, he currently holds the Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, Fellowship in Eastern Christian Manuscript Studies at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, in Minnesota. Myers is a specialist in the music of Eastern Europe, specifically Russia and the Balkans, and researches, publishes extensively and lectures on issues of medieval music (Byzantium and the Slavs) and the post World War II musical develop­ments of these countries.

A native of Sofia, Bulgaria, pianist and musicologist Anna Levy received her Doctor of Musical Arts from the Moscow Conservatory in 1990. On immigrating to Canada she has appeared both as a soloist and cham­ber musician championing contemporary music in North America and Europe. She has appeared as soloist at Princeton University, Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University, in performances of the music of Scriabin, Alfred Schnittke, Nikolai Korndorf, and numerous Canadian composers. In 2003 she formed the Yarilo Music Ensemble in collaboration with fellow pianist Jane Hayes, and the ensemble has been featured in CBC broad­casts.

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