PaTRAM Institute to Record Next CD in Saratov, Russia, Accompanied by the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God

Fresh off their GRAMMY nomination for their CD, Teach Me Thy Statutes, and their newly released CD, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the PaTRAM Institute will record their next CD in Saratov, Russia, this summer. The new CD, entitled More Honorable Than the Cherubim, is a compendium of hymns to the Theotokos by various composers, which will be sung by a fifty-six-member male choir. The singers hail from Russia, Serbia, North America, and Australia. GRAMMY-nominated Maestro Vladimir Gorbik will conduct the choir, which will include an unprecedented ten octavists, with baritone Michail Davydov as the featured soloist. On August 22nd, 2019, the choir will perform their repertoire in concert at the Saratov Conservatory.

The PaTRAM Institute Male Choir will be in Saratov for rehearsals and the recording of the new CD from August 20th-26th, 2019. The CD will be recorded at St. Nicholas Monastery by multi-GRAMMY Award-winning production company Sound Mirror. Sound Mirror has received more than one hundred GRAMMY Awards and nominations for their body of work. PaTRAM is thrilled to be working with them again to create a professional quality CD that brings the beauty of Russian choral music to a Western audience. Reference Recordings, a multi-GRAMMY Award-winning record label based in San Francisco, will print and distribute the completed CD.

With the special permission and blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, considered by the Orthodox Church to be wonderworking, will also be traveling with the choir, accompanied by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. The icon will be in Saratov, Russia, from August 20th-28th, 2019, including during services for the feast of the Dormition. On the evening of August 20th, the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir will be singing near Holy Protection Cathedral to greet the icon as it arrives in Saratov.

PaTRAM will hold a press conference regarding this special project on Thursday, August 22nd, at the Saratov Conservatory at 5pm before the concert, and include a question and answer period with Alex Lukianov, co-founder and CEO of PaTRAM, and Maestro Vladimir Gorbik and Katya Lukianov, co-founders of PaTRAM.

Alexis Lukianov, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of PaTRAM Institute said, “This is the next step for our organization. We are trying to replicate our success from our earlier CDs, but with different composers and prayers. Originally, we had planned to focus on just one composer for this next recording. But once we realized the incredible blessing of the icon traveling with us, we decided to change the repertoire to be comprised of hymns to the Theotokos to honor the Mother of God and to appropriately celebrate the feast of the Dormition right after our recording.”

PaTRAM’s GRAMMY-nominated CD Teach Me Thy Statutes was recorded in Russia in 2016 and featured both American and Russian singers. Teach Me Thy Statutes was also named MusicWeb International’s 2018 Recording of the Year. PaTRAM’s newest CD, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, has consistently been in the Top 15 on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases in Opera and Vocal since the CD was released at the end of April. Besides continuing to promote and develop the skills of Orthodox choral singers in North America, PaTRAM also views its work as a landmark opportunity to unite East and West as the organization brings together singers from different countries who share the same language, culture, and beliefs to create beautiful and prayerful music. PaTRAM seeks to broaden its partnerships around the world with the aim of introducing more people to the beauty and power of Russian liturgical music, so that their lives might be transformed through a connection to this ancient and soulful form of worship.

Teach Me Thy Statutes

Научи мя оправданием Tвоим

Pavel Chesnokov
PaTRAM Institute Choir
Vladimir Gorbik, Conductor

Released May 18, 2018

PaTRAM's GRAMMY-nominated CD, Teach Me Thy Statutes, was recorded in Russia in July of 2016 in the Apostle & Evangelist John the Theologian Church at the Saratov Orthodox Theological Seminary. PaTRAM’s objective was to immerse the listener in the beautiful Russian monastic style of singing through its fullness and richness of sonority. Highly esteemed conductor Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, whose pedigree is from the Moscow Conservatory and as choirmaster of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra Representation Church Choir, skillfully unites strong musicianship with superb diction to a degree that is seldom heard outside of Russia, but which epitomizes the best traditional culture of singing in the Russian Orthodox Church.

In addition to the GRAMMY nomination in the field of Best Choral Performance, Teach Me Thy Statutes was also named MusicWeb International’s 2018 Recording of the Year.


Critical Praise for Teach Me Thy Statutes

Teach Me Thy Statutes, the first in a projected series from the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music (PaTRAM) Institute, features their Male Choir, directed by Vladimir Gorbik. Given that this ensemble is made up of professional American and Russian singers, one could say this album represents the best of both worlds… intensely beautiful singing and sound; quite simply, choral albums don’t come much better than this.”

-Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International 

"Many thanks to Reference Recordings...for bringing this unearthly beautiful music out of obscurity for the world to enjoy... you will really be blown away by the power and profundity of this impressive disc recorded in churches at the Saratov Orthodox Theological Seminary in Russia."

 -Patrick Neas, The Kansas City Star

About PaTRAM (The Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute)

The mission of the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music (PaTRAM) Institute is to cultivate and promote the beauty and spiritual depth of Russian Orthodox liturgical arts in general and choral singing in particular, in both the English and Church Slavonic languages.
PaTRAM seeks to utilize rigorous educational programs, distinctive performance events, and the latest technological tools to realize this mission.

PaTRAM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in its sixth year of existence and is headquartered in Tiburon, CA.

To learn more, visit, or call us at 551-224-8657.

PaTRAM was formed to address the problem of the declining standards and execution of singing in Orthodox churches in North America. Many Orthodox church-goers struggle through services marked by lackluster choral performances, rarely experiencing the beauty and spiritual depth of the Eastern Orthodox musical tradition. Co-founded by Alex and Katya Lukianov and Vladimir Gorbik. PaTRAM works with Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, choirmaster of the Moscrow Representation Church of the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, and well-known American Orthodox conductors and church musicians to accomplish the goal of raising the quality of church singing in America to a near-professional level.

Besides close collaboration with Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, PaTRAM recently got to work with Maestro Peter Jermihov from Chicago.

PaTRAM has two major performance components: The PaTRAM Institute Male Choir and a Mixed Choir, known as The PaTRAM Institute Singers. The PaTRAM Institute Singers is America’s top Orthodox, professional choir. It performs Russian Orthodox choral music in concerts, recordings, and liturgical settings. The singers, all accomplished vocal artists, undergo a rigorous selection process and come together from all parts of the U.S. and Canada for major events.
Over the years, PaTRAM has held many master classes, workshops, and conferences for choral singers who wish to further their singing in both Russia and the United States. In both 2018 and 2019, PaTRAM staged a multi-day summer Academy. The focus of the 2018 Academy was on working intensively with singers and conductors who studied under some of the Orthodox world’s best faculty. In 2019, the Academy was focused solely on singers and offered students two tracks: a mixed choir program and a male choir program.

In addition to their educational offerings, PaTRAM’s choirs have earned numerous accolades and special distinctions. In 2016, the PaTRAM Male Choir performed alongside the highly acclaimed Clarion Choir for the U.S. Ambassador at Spaso House (the Ambassador’s residence) in Moscow. At the close of 2017, the PaTRAM Institute Singers performed at the Clarion Choir’s Annual Russian New Year’s Concert in New York City. In 2018, PaTRAM’s CD, Teach Me Thy Statutes, was named MusicWeb International’s 2018 Record of the Year. Teach Me Thy Statutes features the work of Pavel Chesnokov as performed by the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir under the direction of Maestro Vladimir Gorbik. The same CD was later nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Choral Performance. The Institute released their latest CD, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in April 2019 and it, too, is garnering excellent reviews. It has attained the #1 spot on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases in Opera and Vocal multiple times to date. Composed by Kurt Sander and performed by The PaTRAM Institute Singers under the direction of Maestro Peter Jermihov, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is the first and only complete setting of the Liturgy in English. In 2020, PaTRAM will release their next CD, Blessed Art Thou Among Women, a compendium of hymns honoring the Theotokos.

About The PaTRAM Institute Summer Academy

The 2019 PaTRAM Summer Singers’ Academy took place, from June 27th-30th, at St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ.
The Academy was an intensive program for church singers who wish to further their own skills and knowledge under the tutelage of PaTRAM’s outstanding faculty. This year the Academy featured two tracks for participants: a mixed choir program and a male choir program. The male choir had the opportunity to learn from GRAMMY-nominated conductor Maestro Gorbik. Both tracks benefitted from the all-encompassing curriculum, designed and overseen by Academy managing director Katya Lukianov. After two and a half days of learning about sacred choral music, both choirs performed side-by-side as they sang the hierarchical services on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Both of the officiating hierarchs, Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop Luke, praised the quality of singing by the choirs and commented on the importance of prayerful singing in the Orthodox Church.

Participant Testimonials:

"Excellent experience, spiritually transformative! Will be back for more!"

"I learned much more over the 3-4 days than I expected to learn! Lovely experience, truly spiritually transformative!"

"The guidance and instruction were phenomenal!"
Principal Members of PaTRAM Institute
Alex Lukianov

Serial entrepreneur and past chairman and CEO of NuVasive, Inc. (de facto founder). Over 35 years as a senior executive in the medtech industry, including BackCare Group, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Smith & Nephew Orthopedics, and Meadow/Stryker joint venture. Longstanding orthopedic industry expert with multiple achievement awards in entrepreneurship and leadership and many public appearances at conferences, panels, TV, media, and in Washington DC, etc.

Served on a variety of public, private, and not-for-profit boards, including California Health Institute (CHI), BIOCOM, Medical Device & Manufacturers Association (MDM&A), Volcano, etc. Currently serving on several private and not-for-profit boards, including OnPoint, Systems Oncology, Tissue Differentiation intelligence (TDi), DuraStat, Holy Trinity Seminary, St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, and as Chairman and CEO of the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute.

Produced Broadway shows (2010 Tony Award winner for Memphis – Best Musical; First Date; Memphis US tour and London West End); produced and performed as a singer on several albums/CDs, including concert tours in the U.S. and Russia (PaTRAM Institute Choir); received two 2019 GRAMMY Award nominations for 1) Best Choral Performance as Executive Producer and Choral Ensemble: Chesnokov – Teach Me Thy Statutes, PaTRAM Institute Male Choir, and 2) Best Choral Performance as Executive Producer: Kastalsky – Memory Eternal, Clarion Choir. Represented by GRAMMY Award-winning label Reference Recordings.

Focused on developing new businesses and investments through Lukpartners, LLC, and proliferation of the arts through the Lukianov Family Foundation and the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute.

Katya Lukianov

Katya Lukianov has been an Orthodox conductor for nearly twenty years, predominantly singing in Slavonic parishes (ROCOR), but also extensively in English (both OCA and an all-English ROCOR parish). She has developed three choirs from inception to very competent levels, winning accolades for prayerful singing. In her youth, Katya had intensive musical training and was a highly competitive piano player, as well as a life-long choir member with a strong alto voice. She is also very proficient and skilled in liturgical rubrics.

Katya is passionate about music – from Broadway shows to Orthodox liturgical singing. She produced and won a Tony Award for best musical on Broadway (Memphis 2010) and has produced national tours on the West End. Katya has also been involved in the production and/or direct participation on multiple CDs: Praise Him All Ye Nations, Rachmaninoff Vigil, Teach Me Thy Statutes, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and Blessed Art Thou Among Women. All of the CDs are PaTRAM Institute projects, a non-profit set up by Katya and her husband Alex to promote more prayerful singing in North America. Teach Me Thy Statutes was a GRAMMY nominee in 2019 for Best Choral Performance, as well as MusicWeb International’s Record of the Year 2018. Katya was also executive producer on Clarion Choir’s CD, Kastalskys Requiem, also a 2019 GRAMMY nominee.

Katya is a co-founder of PaTRAM, and was executive director for PaTRAM during its early development. She currently focuses on repertoire development. She is executive director of PaTRAM’s Summer Singers’ Academy and is executive producer and repertoire co-developer (with Maestro Vladimir Gorbik) and arranger for PaTRAM’s forthcoming CD recording, More Honorable than the Cherubim. This effort consists of a massive, fifty-six-person choir with ten octavists.

Vladimir Gorbik

Vladimir Gorbik studied and graduated from the Department of Symphonic and Choral Conducting at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Boris Tevlin (2008) as a choir conductor, and in the class of Professor Igor Dronov (2000) as an orchestra conductor. From 1993 to 2000, he studied in the Department of Composing in the Compositions class of Professor Roman Ledenev.

Since 1993, he has performed his own spiritual and secular music, chamber orchestra and orchestra, in the concert halls of the Moscow Conservatory.

Vladimir Gorbik’s work as a choir conductor has been connected for over 20 years to the male choir of the Moscow Representation Church of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, of which he became the head conductor in 1998. Under Gorbik’s direction, this choir has joined Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow & All Russia at Divine Liturgy in the cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin. In 2004 and 2008, Vladimir Gorbik directed the male choir of the Moscow Metochion of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra in the Kremlin at molebens and as part of the inauguration programs of Presidents of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.

In 2013, Vladimir Gorbik became co-founder and board member of the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music (PaTRAM) Institute in the United States, as well as their master class instructor and conductor for male and mixed choirs. He has led many master classes in the U.S., for the PaTRAM Institute, and is the conductor of the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir’s next CD, More Honorable than the Cherubim, being recorded in August 2019 in Saratov, Russia.

In 2019, Vladimir Gorbik was nominated for the 61st GRAMMY Awards, in the field of “Best Choral Performance” for a CD, Teach Me Thy Statutes, featuring the spiritual music of Pavel Chesnokov.

During his tenure as symphony orchestra conductor, Gorbik worked with the collectives of the operatic studio at the Moscow Conservatory and the orchestra of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation.

He collaborates as a guest conductor with the Chamber Orchestra of the M.I. Glinka Smolensk Philharmonic, the “Soloists of Uzbekistan” Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan, and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra at the Pavel Slobodkin Center.

In March 2017, Vladimir Gorbik founded and led the Capital Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and its New York subsidiary in February 2018. The CSO’s first performances were held on the stages of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Arkhipovsky Music Salon of the International Music Professionals Union, and Adelphia University’s Performing Arts Center (USA).

Since 2012, Gorbik has been teaching in the Department of Symphonic and Choral Conducting at the Moscow State P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and holds master classes in Russia, the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Central Asia.

Vladimir Gorbik’s discography encompasses over 20 albums of spiritual music, as well as several films, including Heavenly Crown, Bright Monday, and The Synodals.

Vladimir Gorbik was awarded a Patriarchal Certificate (“Gramota”) by Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow & All Russia; the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh Medal, 2nd Class; and the Holy Right-Believing Prince Daniel of Moscow Medal.

Additional Members of the Saratov Recording Project
Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan

Bishop Nicholas (Olhovsky) was born on December 17, 1974, in Trenton, NJ. He graduated from St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Parish School in Lakewood, NJ in May 1991, and in 1993, graduated from Hamilton West High School. In 1998, he graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, where he received a Bachelor of Theology Degree. During his studies in seminary, he executed his obediences in the book-binding shop, icon studio, and typographical workshop (working in the latter until 2002). On the feast day of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1994, he was ordained a reader by Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese (today First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad), in Trenton’s Dormition Church. In 2000, he graduated from the State University of New York Technology School, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Information & Communications. From March 1999 to March 2008, he served as cell attendant to Archbishop Laurus (Škurla; from October 2001 to March 2008, Metropolitan).

In May 2004, he accompanied the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad on his first official visit to Russia. In May 2006, he served as a delegate to the 4th All-Diaspora Church Council; on June 12th of that year, he was ordained to the diaconate by Metropolitan Laurus and assigned to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. In May 2007, he participated in the celebration of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow, accompanying Metropolitan Laurus on the subsequent pilgrimage to the Kursk Diocese and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. In September 2008, he was assigned to the staff of the Synod of Bishops. In 2009 and 2010, he served as a member of the delegation accompanying the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God to Russia and Ukraine. In December 2010, after the sudden and unexpected death of his Matushka Elisabeth, he was appointed guardian of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. In January 2011, he was assigned to the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. In 2011, he accompanied the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God to the Kursk Diocese and the Metropolitanate of Kazakhstan; in November 2011, to Australia. On August 1st, 2012, he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY. In 2012, he accompanied the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora to the Samara, Kursk, and Perm Dioceses, to Seattle and the Hawaiian Islands. In 2013, he accompanied the Kursk Root Icon to the Canadian Diocese, to Japan, and the Primorsk Metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Fr. Nicholas Olhovsky’s monastic tonsure was performed on April 4th, 2014 in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville. In tonsure, Fr. Nicholas was given the name "Nicholas" ‒ in honor of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Nicholas of Japan. At Divine Liturgy on April 27th, the second Sunday of Holy Pascha, in the presence of the Kursk Root Icon and in accordance with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Mark of Berlin & Germany elevated Hieromonk Nicholas to the rank of archimandrite in Holy New Martyrs & Confessors of Russia Cathedral in Munich, Germany.

The Rite of Nomination and episcopal Consecration were performed in Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco, CA, on Sunday, June 28th-29th, 2014, during the celebrations in honor of the 20th anniversary of the glorification by the Russian Church Abroad of the Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai & San Francisco. The Consecration was led by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York.
Metropolitan Longin

Vladimir Sergeevich Korchagin was born on July 31st, 1961 in the city of Sukhumi of the Abkhaz ASSR.

From 1977-1982, he studied at Abkhaz State University in the evening while working as a guide. From 1981-1983, he was a high school teacher of Russian language and literature.

He served in the Soviet army from 1983-1985. He then entered the Moscow Theological Seminary and was accepted into the brotherhood of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. On July 21st, 1986, he was tonsured a monk and given the name Longin. On June 7th, 1988, he was ordained a hieromonk.

In 1992, having completed his studies, he returned to Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. On December 15th, 1992 he was appointed rector of the Representation Church of Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Moscow.

On August 19th, 2003, he was consecrated Bishop of Saratov & Volsk at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

On October 6th, 2011, in accordance with the resolution of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, he was appointed head of the newly-formed Saratov Metropolitanate.

On October 8th, 2011, in Holy Dormition Cathedral of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.

He is the rector of the Saratov Orthodox Theological Seminary – the highest religious educational institution. He is also the Chairman of the editorial board of the journal “Orthodoxy & Modernity.”

In accordance with the resolution of the Holy Synod of June 7th, 2012, he was confirmed in the position of abbot of Holy Transfiguration Monastery of the city of Saratov.

He has been awarded the following honors and distinctions by the Russian Orthodox Church: Medal of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 2nd Class; Medal of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 1st Class; Order of St. Nicholas, 2nd Class; Medal of the Saransk Diocese “Merciful Heart,” 1st Class; Patriarchal Badge “700th Anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh;” Commemorative Patriarchal Panagia, Jubilee Medal “1000th Anniversary of the Repose of St. Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles;” the Medal of the Synodal Department for Prison Service of the Holy Great Martyr Anastasia, 1st Class, “For Faith, Mercy & Contribution to the Development of Prison Ministry for the Russian Orthodox Church;” Medal of the Publishing Council of the Russian Orthodox Church “Pioneer of Deacon John Fedorov,” 1st Class; and Order of St. Innocent of Moscow, 2nd Class.

He has also been awarded by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the Order of Saints Cyril & Methodius, 1st Class, and the Badge of Honor of the Metropolis of Ruse “St. Demetrius of Basarbovo,” 2nd Class.

About the Kursk Root Icon

The Kursk Root Icon dates to the 13th century. The icon depicts the Theotokos with the infant Christ. During the Tartar invasion in the 13th century, the city of Kursk was ravaged and became a desolate wilderness. A hunter found the icon, face down, on the root of a tree. When he picked it up, a spring of fresh water surged up from the ground. The spring pointed to recovery for the city of Kursk and the spring still flows today.
A wooden chapel was built to house the icon, which was later replaced with a stone church in the 16th century. In 1898, an anarchist atheist group set off a bomb in the cathedral where the icon was housed in an attempt to destroy it. Miraculously, the icon was found amongst the debris, intact and undamaged! The icon later made its way to America, where it is in the possession of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
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