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Address of Kirill Bolshakov

Address of Kirill Bolshakov, choir director of the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, to the priest and parishioners

Honorable Fr. Michael, servants of the temple, brothers and sisters in Christ!

Mystifying is the doings of God, and only He knows the meaning and the reasons for their occurrence, as well as the destiny that falls upon us. Therefore I, as said the apostle, “accept in gratitude and speak nothing against.”

I know how benevolent and wondrous is our Father in Heaven, and from of old my heart has wanted to praise Him with all the triumph, enchantment and solemnity of a choir, so that it may resemble the singing of angels in Heaven.

Long will be the journey for us, the singers – the path towards perfecting our art will be filled with obstacles and complications. There is still too much pride, vanity, and doubt in our hearts, blocking our way to enlightenment from above, which is necessary in any Christian beginning, and no less so in praising our Heavenly Father with song. If even his meek angels dare not gaze upon his face, aren’t we to realize our earthly imperfection and to remember not ours, but Gods universal glory!

I beseech you, brothers and sisters in Christ, direct your prayers towards the spiritual union of our choir, to fill it with fresh, clean voices, and for overall wisdom to fall upon us from above, and upon the unworthy follower of God, Kirill – your faithful servant, who has dedicated himself and his frugal talent with benevolence to our church and with praise to our Lord.

For your devout attention, I offer some information about my life and background.

I was born in the glorious city of Moscow, in God’s summer of 1957, on the seventh of July, in a family with deep Orthodox Christian traditions and beliefs, passed on from generation to generation. My mother, being by profession a director, a wonderful actress, and a teacher, was born with a unique gift of musical talent. Through her teachings I received my love for our Creator, for His Gospel truths, and my understanding that it is to Him we should dedicate all the best fruits of our years.

My father appeared as a flute soloist in Stanislavsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the one of most respectable and well-known musical theaters of his time for almost thirty years. During his fruitful career he performed the solo parts in countless symphonic performances, as well as playing in ensembles with distinguished contemporary musicians.

I was, naturally, overwhelmed with music from an early age, and was directed to learn in the Central School of Music at the Moscow Conservatoire, the atmosphere of which conducted in us, the young performers, a sense of creative self dedication, fulfilling professional demands, and a strict discipline of setting high goals. the year of 1977, my brother Eugene – who had a naturally unique, velvety, rich bass and I began our service in our church in the capacity of singers. At that time I was seventeen, my brother – fourteen. But he was not to please the parishioners with his singing for even two years: the Lord took him away from this world when he turned sixteen, on the night of Christmas Eve, a year and a half after our father passed away. I kept up my stand as a singer in church in parallel with my other musical activities. Soon after, in cases of necessity, I began to substitute our choirmaster, Ariadna Vladimirovna Agafonnikoff, taking on all responsibilities in directing the choir. Being the outer of the famous choirmaster and composer V. Agafonnikoff, she herself is an outstanding professional and a remarkable person. It was while working with her that I composed my first chorale pieces.

In 1978 1 entered the musical faculty in the Moscow Teachers Correspondence University, where I attended the everyday courses, which it provided for Moscow’s residents. There I had the good fortune of being able to meet and learn from the most highly classified instructors of the faculty, amongst whom I would like to mention such excellent musicians as doctors Alexy Yudin (piano), Vitaly Tyomkin (conducting), candidate of musical sciences Galina Alfeyevskaya (history of music, analysis of musical form), Ruslan Lisovoy (practical choir conducting), and my friend and mentor Alexander Petroff, the most talented of singers and most charming of men – one of the descendants of Tchaikovsky.

With the completion of my studies at the University I was included in the faculty state as an accompanist and an assistant in choral conducting. I was given the pleasure of working side by side with many great masters, and the best gift of fortune became my collaboration with the head of the faculty’s choir directing cathedra – professor Eugenia Alekseyevna Krasotina, who was the choir master in the Bolshoi Theater, and who had a musically creative association with the famous K. Kondrashin, and with many other distinguished musicians.

While I was busy in the University, I continued to perform as a pianist and, of course, to appear in Church as singer. For the next two years, I also became a permanent director of a quartet of male voices.

Being involved in the Church’s activities continues like a red line on the horizon through the whole of my conscious life; worshipping Him in the Highest with all musical art forms has helped me in my determination to achieve perfection in my musical creations. I would like to express my hopes, that through my strive for achievement I will find similar wishes in the hearts of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who will help beautify our choir either with direct participation or with their prayers.

With my wishes for God’s grace upon you all, your humble servant Kirill Bolshakov.