The Choir

The formation of Russkaya Cappella was proposed in August 2009 by a small group of experienced choral singers with a shared enthusiasm for the distinctive harmonies, resonances and rhythms of Russian choral music. The new choir became a reality when Stuart Campbell and Svetlana Zvereva, specialists in Russian music, agreed to serve as Joint Musical Directors. Under their guidance and encouragement Russkaya Cappella has grown to be a chamber choir of some 35 singers plus 2 regular guests —a mixed group, not only male and female but also in age (from students to retirees), background, singing experience and country of origin, with a substantial minority of Russians (a few others also speak Russian), plus individuals from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hong Kong and Spain—a truly cosmopolitan group. Members who can’t speak Russian sing from transliterated text (basically phonetic versions), but the choir also receives expert instruction on correct pronunciation from the Musical Directors at the weekly rehearsals—so even the linguistically challenged quickly become competent. The ability and enthusiasm of the choir were greatly encouraged during its first year through working with Prof. Alexey Rudnevsky, Professor of Choral Conducting, during his visit from the Moscow Conservatory.

Russkaya Cappella leads an active life. It has given concerts of its own in Glasgow—at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Cathedral, St Andrew’s Metropolitan Cathedral, St Bride’s church, the University Concert Hall and the University Chapel, among others; in Edinburgh—at St Giles Cathedral, the National Museum of Scotland (in association with the Catherine the Great Exhibition) and St Cecilia’s Hall; and in Stirling at the Church of the Holy Rude.

Russkaya Cappella also performs in functions organised by the Russian communities in Glasgow and Edinburgh, such as the major Orthodox Church services at Christmas and Easter (on one occasion in Leeds), an annual reception to mark the Russian National Day arranged by the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh, and seasonal celebrations at the Glasgow Russian School. Occasionally the choir is joined by young singers from the Singing Studio attached to the School, directed by Svetlana Zvereva. In the longer run this connection should provide a stream of young recruits for Russkaya Cappella.

The choir has collaborated twice with the Intercultural Music and Arts Project directed by the composer Dr Kimho Ip, and performed music written specially for it by Dr Ip in the multi-art-form event ‘In Time’.

For the last few years, Russkaya Cappella has been working closely with Graham Hair and the Scottish Voices.

Russkaya Cappella occasionally runs workshops, open to everyone. The choir is interested in musical collaborations and can be hired to sing at weddings and other functions.

Russkaya Cappella greatly values the interest and support provided by our Honorary Patrons:

  • Sir Angus Grossart
  • Tatiana Hine, OBE
  • James MacMillan, CBE
  • Professor Alexsey Rudnevsky
  • Lord Williams (Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams)
  • Andrey A. Pritsepov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh

2 RusCap with Children Studio 16 06 2013