The name of the Athens chorus Ἐργαστῆρι Ψαλτικῆς (Ergastiri Psaltikis) may be literally translated as “Chant Workshop”. The ensemble was established in 1998. It includes students, postgraduates, businessmen, public servants and university lecturers – they are all moved by the desire to study together and popularise the traditions of Byzantine song. Ergastiri Psaltikis can trace its musical history back to Thrasyvoulos Stanitsas (1910–1987), arch-protopsaltis (first cantor) of the Constantinople Orthodox Church, under whom the ensemble’s current director Athanasios Paivanas once studied.
The chorus takes part in festivals and forums, appears at church and research conferences, sings at celebratory events of the metropolitan and gives concerts in Greece and abroad. In 2002 the ensemble won 1st prize among Byzantine choruses at the International Competition of Sacred Music in Preveza (Greece).
Ergastiri Psaltikis has released seven CDs; the most recent to date – Ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα (Anastaseos hemera – On Resurrection Day), recorded in 2016 – includes hymns from the Pentecostarion.
The Ergastiri Psaltikis chorus has appeared in Russia on several occasions: it has sung at the Rachmaninoff Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Moscow International House of Music, it has taken part in divine liturgy at the Church of Christ the Saviour and has appeared at the festival The Academy of Orthodox Music in St Petersburg and at the Cathedral of St Sophia in Veliky Novgorod.
Information for December 2019