The Festino chamber chorus was founded in 2008 and was named in honour of Adriano Banchieri’s madrigal comedy Festino nella sera del giovedì grasso.
The ensemble’s Artistic Director and Conductor is Alexandra Makarova.
The chorus performs Renaissance and Baroque music and works by contemporary composers and collaborates with Russian and European early music ensembles.
In 2012 the Festino chorus took part in the I Open Academy of Baroque Opera directed by Andrew Lawrence-King and Marco Beasley, while in 2014 it took part in the MolOt festival and the contemporary music festival From the Avant-Garde to the Present Day. The same year, the musicians of Festino became the main performers in the musical puppet performance Leningrad Suite, dedicated to the seventieth anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad (with the children’s theatre Puppets).
The chorus is a guest ensemble of the Bolshoi Tovstonogov Drama Theatre, at which it appears in the play What to Do? (staged by Andrei Moguchy to music by Nastasia Khrushcheva).
March 2015 saw the premiere of a co-production by the TRU theatre and the Festino chorus of A New Day (music by Nastasia Khrushcheva).
The ensemble won the Grand Prix at the Northern Bel Canto international chorus competition in Stnbsp;Petersburg and 1st prize at the International Chorus Competition in Miltenberg (Germany).
The vocal ensemble Intrada was founded in 2006 on the initiative of Yekaterina Antonenko, who became its Music Director. The ensemble specialises in performing early music and appears with such conductors as Vladimir Jurowski, Alexei Utkin, Alexander Rudin, Christopher Moulds, Peter Phillips, Federico Maria Sardelli, Peter Neumann and Frieder Bernius.
In September 2015 the ensemble represented Russia at an arts festival in Dresden. The ensemble has also taken part in Moscow’s Christmas Festival, the festivals December Evenings of Sviatoslav Richter, Early Music, Ambassadors’ Gifts and The Return.
The ensemble Intrada regularly collaborates with leading Russian orchestras. Together with the State Academic Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski the musicians have performed highlights from Purcell’s opera The Fairy Queen and Mendelssohn’s incidental music for the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while together with the Russian National Orchestra it has performed Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem.
The ensemble has also participated in a concert performance of Handel’s opera Hercules together with Ann Hallenberg and Lucy Crowe (conducted by Christopher Moulds, 2013), the 1771 Paris version of Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice together with Colin Lee and Deborah York (conducted by William Lacey, 2014) and Handel’s opera Alcina together with Inga Kalna, Vivica Genaux, Patricia Bardon and Benjamin Hulett (conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli, 2015).
During the exchange year of culture of Great Britain and Russia the Intrada ensemble and Peter Phillips launched the Festival in Memory of John Tavener. The festival concerts took place in September 2014 at the Rachmaninoff and Great Halls of the Moscow Conservatoire together with the ensemble Tallis Scholars and soprano Julia Lezhneva. In June 2015 the ensemble performed every motet by Bach under the baton of Frieder Bernius at the Rachmaninoff Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire.
The ensemble Intrada has also presented the Russian premieres of the works So You Want to Write a Fugue by Glenn Gould, Four2 by John Cage, Lied by Andrei Volkonsky and the Russian premiere of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion.
Recordings of concerts by the Intrada ensemble have been broadcast by Kultura TV, Radio Russia, Orpheus, Svoboda Radio, Moscow Talking and Voice of Russia.