St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble from Russia to be featured at Performing Arts Center

Alhambra Performing Arts Center (APAC), under the direction of Chef and Artistic Director Bill Yee, will present the renowned St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble in a free concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church, 1850 W. Hellman Ave., Alhambra.

The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble is an independent group from Russia that was founded in 2003. The reason for its founding was the drive of its members to develop a new norm and new capabilities in the realization of artistic ideas, as well as expanding the limits of generally accepted perceptions on performing capabilities of singing groups and choirs. Due to the high professionalism of its members, it is now possible for wide audiences to enjoy the musical compositions that require considerably larger number of performers. Besides that, the participation of such a talented button accordionist as Alexander Korbakov allowed them to considerably enrich and diversify the musical palette of the quintet.

The group's repertoire encompasses various epochs and styles, including ancient Russian chants, chorales of Western European, and modern music. Since one of the tasks of the ensemble is to popularize preeminent Russian music, their program allows them to most fully elucidate and introduce to the audience Russian folk songs, secular and ecclesiastic compositions, as well as modern composers and transpositions of popular melodies.

Kirill Sokolov was born in Leningrad on 22 July 1974. He received his early musical education in the Glinka Choir School attached to the State Academic Capella. From 1991 to 1996 Kirill was studying choir conducting in the St. Petersburg Conservatory instructed by Professor E.P. Kudryavtseva. In 1995, he studied at the Department of Conducting and at the Department of Vocal Singing. Since 1990, Mr. Kirill began his creative activity as a member of leading choirs of St. Petersburg: first in the Academic Capella, then in the Choir of the Smolny Cathedral, and the Chamber Choir of the St.Petersburg Conservatory. From 1994 to 1997 he was working in the Chamber Choir, when, in 1996, fragments of the Divine Luturgy of Tchaykovsky were performed under his direction. In 1997 he took part in concerts and performance tours being a member of different musical collectives, such as in the men’s choir Soglasye, the St.Petersburg Assemblies chamber choir, the Otkrovenie choir, and others. From 2002 to 2003 he was a leader of the Petersburg-quartet chamber ensemble. Since 2003, Mr. Kirill has been the leader of The St.Petersburg Men’s Ensemble.

Vadim Smantser is from Partizansk, Russia. In 1986 he graduated from the Music School attached to the Minsk Conservatory. From 1992 to 1997 he studied choir conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Since 1992, he was a member of Choir of the Smolny Cathedral and the Chamber Choir of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Mr. Smantser is a singer in St. Dimitry Church and collaborates with The St.Petersburg Men’s Ensemble.

Sergey Shapinskiy is from Kostroma, Russia, and moved to Leningrad in 1979, where he completed his musical education as an accomplished accordionist. He performed in The Orchestra of Bayan Accordion players at the Palace of Pioneers (currently the Palace of Youth`s Creativity) and then studied at The Teacher Training College. Since 1993, he was a member in several choruses, The singing bridge, The Petersburg Serenades, and the Chorus of Smolny Cathedral. From 1994 to 1998 he studied at the University of Cinema and Television for sound direction. Starting from the mid1990s, he was the singer in several orthodox churches in St. Petersburg. He works as a sound director at the music recording company Melody.

Andrei Volikov was born in the city of Novozybkov, Briansk region, Russia. He graduated in 2009 from the St. Petersburg Conservatory with a degree in musical theater acting. Presently he is pursuing his master’s degree in music at the A.I.Herzen Russian National Pedagogical University. Since 2007-2008, Mr. Volikov has been a soloist with the Karambol children's musical theater in St. Petersburg. From 2008 to 2010 he toured Europe with several different music groups: Voskresenie, Youth Chamber Choir of St. Petersburg, and the Sheremeteff Ensemble. During 2009-2010 he performed with the Mariinsky Theater choir. Since 2009, he has sung as a guest artist with the Moscow theater Maskarad (Masquerade) and has been an active member of the St. Petersburg Men's Ensemble.

Admission is free. There will be a free-will offering to support the artists during intermission.

Chef Yee is also the owner of the Alhambra Culinary School, and his chefs will prepare refreshments for the audience during the intermission.

The next Intro to Culinary Classes, which includes a full chef uniform, knife set, cooking equipment, and more will be on Saturday, April 14, and Saturday, April 21. There is space for up to 12 students in each class. E-mail Chef Yee for reservations at bizwind@yahoo.com.

For more information, please contact Mr. Yee at 626-230 5435, or e-mail bizwind@yahoo.com.


St. PetersburgRussiaartistic ideascompositionsepochsstyleschantsmodern music

Jan 2021


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