The Maestors of the Psaltic Art
“The Maestors of the Psaltic Art” is a Choir of Chanters well-known in the field of Byzantine Musicology.
The ensemble was founded in 1983. The main aims of this Choir of Chanters are:
- the study and presentation of the works of the most important Byzantine and post-Byzantine composers
- the morphological study and analysis of the various “types” of composition
- the general promotion of the Psaltic Art, with scholarly substantiation and skilled technique [d] the chanting of entire divine Services during times of worship.
“The Maestors of the Psaltic Art” have offered, up to now, over four hundred performances, both in Greece and abroad (Europe, Asia, America and Australia). They have performed in very famous Music Halls (such as: the Great Hall of the University of Athens, the Music Hall in Athens and Thessaloniki, the Opera House of Sydney, the “Music Hall” ofSeoul, etc.), as well as in a lot of Byzantine Churches ( the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, the Ekatontapylianis Church on the Island of Paros, the Church of Apocalypse on Patmos, the Basilica of St Mark in Venice, the main Monastery of the Meteora, the Church of St Lazarus in Larnaca-Cyprus, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Church of St Andrew in Patra, etc.) and also during various important Services and ceremonies (such as: in Nazareth for the 2000 years since the Annunciation, in Great Hellas-Kalabria and Sikelia for the official pilgrimage of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in the Island of Aegina for the engainia of the beautiful new church of Saint Nectarios, etc.].
“The Maestors of the Psaltic Art”have recorded, up to the present, the following works: Ioannes Koukouzeles (3 records and cassettes), Balasis the Priest (2 records), Germanos of New Patras (1 CD), “Apocalypse and Historical Witness 1088-1988” (2 records and cassettes), Meteora Sacra (2 records and cassettes), Mount Athos Composers I (1 CD), “Come, Christ-bearing Peoples” (2 cassettes), Enkainizou-Enkainizou (1 cassette), “Rejoice, O peoples” (1 CD), Beloved Hymns (1 CD), Pannychis (1 CD), Lift Up your Heads, O ye Gates (1 CD), Byzantine and Gregorian Antifons(1 CD), Chant for the God I-II-III-IV (9 CDs), Compositions of K. A. Psachos (1 CD).
Achilleas G. Chaldaeakes
Achilleas G. Chaldaeakes is professor of Byzantine Musicology at the Department of Music Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He teaches on both undergraduate and graduate level at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, but also at other Greek Universities and Institutes. His personal approach to this particular learning object is determined by an innovation: the study, analysis and comprehension of the Τheory, Ηistory and Aesthetics of Music through its practical expression. He firmly believes that the combination of Theory and Practice is instrumental for a substantial knowledge of the phenomenon of musical creation, and up to the present day he has supported this belief with his scientific, educational and artistic work. He also delivers lectures and participates in seminars and workshops, whereas his parallel artistic activity illustrates the practical application of any theoretical view. This multifaceted activity in the field of Byzantine Music has already been given approval and a favorable reception both in Greece and abroad.
Achilleas Chaldaeakes’ published scientific work comprises more than 150 studies (monographs, articles, entries in encyclopedias, papers in conferences, essays in various collective volumes and scientific reviews, etc.), mostly on various subjects (theoretical, historical, aesthetical, etc.) pertaining to the field of Byzantine Music. He is also a regular collaborator and consultant on Byzantine musicological entries in the Great Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia, the ПРАВОСЛАВНАЯЭНЦИКЛОПЕДИЯ and the Grove Music Online. He participates in almost all Conferences on Byzantine Music both in Greece and abroad and is a member of the scientific and organizing committees in most of them. He is also an active member of various international scientific societies (such as the Institute of Byzantine Musicology, The International Society for Orthodox Church Music, The American Society of Byzantine Music and Hymnology, etc.) whose activities are focused on Byzantine Musicological studies.
At the same time, he is the director of an artistic group of international renown, the choir “Maestors of the Psaltic Art”. With this choir he has given, up to the present day, more than 400 performances in Europe, Asia, America and Australia and has appeared in many radio and TV shows in Greece and abroad. The Maestors of the Psaltic Arthas performed at famous concert halls all over the world, but also at many sacred Byzantine monuments on the occasion of various festivities or anniversaries. Furthermore, the Maestors of the Psaltic Arthas recorded, up to the present day, 25 CDs. As a choir director, he has an international career: several choral ensembles, Byzantine or otherwise, often invite him as a guest director, and his successful performances have received substantial praise.
He is also an internationally recognized and praised chanter, i.e. an artist-performer of Byzantine Music. He chants regularly in a church at the center of Athens, but also in various religious and artistic events both in Greece and abroad, where he is frequently being invited as a chanter. Finally, he has recorded, alone or with various ensembles, often under his own direction, various Byzantine hymns – several of them were discovered by himself in the frame of his parallel academic research – or even musical examples of Secular or Folk Music and compositions of Contemporary Music as well.