”Righteous Iosif” Choir of Varatic Monastery

Romania

Varatic Monastery was founded in 1785, a time that has also seen the psaltic chant emerge within the monastery walls. The basis of psaltic chanting at Varatic Monastery were established by Sister Olimpiada (1757 - 1842), the founder and first abbess of Varatic Monastery, and also an exceptional singer. Some of her pupils followed her in conducting the choir; sisters Meropia Dăscălescu and Antonia Borş, both have had their own compositions, a legacy kept in the library of the monastery, but also chanted even now during the church services.

The first nuns' choir of psaltic and polyphonic choral music of Varatic Monastery was created in 1919 under the direct guidance of the great professor Archdeacon Filotei Moroșanu. 

Over time, the repertoire of the monastery choir conducted by Antonia Borş, Onufria Nechifor or Martiniana Dragomir has been enriched with different ecclesiastical chants with polyphonic arrangements.

In 2004, the Reverend Mother Abbess Stavrophore Iosefina Giosanu has organized special classes to improve the choir's performance in psaltic music by having the renowned Fr. As. Prof. Florin Bucescu from "George Enescu" University of Arts as teacher and mentor of the choir.

In 2005, at the initiative of the Reverend Mother Abbess Stavrophore Iosefina Giosanu, the members of the "Righteous Iosif of Varatic" Choir were established, with Sister Elefteria Balcoşi as conductor and under the guidance of Mr. Adrian Sîrbu, lecturer at "George Enescu" University of Arts of Iasi.

Since 2009, members of the choir have been participating to masterclasses of Byzantine music organized by "George Enescu" University of Arts of Iasi and under the direct teaching of professors and researchers from well-known universities and institutes from Greece and Romania.

”Righteous Iosif” Choir has participated to various national and international liturgical moments and psaltic music concerts in Greece, Strasbourg, Brussels, Nurnberg and Czech Rep. In 2015, the choir has had the great joy of representing the Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bukovina in the national level of the competition ”Lăudați pe Domnul” (”Praise the Lord”) organised at the Radio Hall in Bucharest.

The current full name of the choir - ”Righteous Iosif of Varatic Monastery” Choir (Corul „Cuviosul Iosif de la Mănăstirea Văratic”) is linked to the first founder of the monastery, the Spiritual Father Iosif, who has been canonized in 2008.

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