GRODNO, 13 February (BelTA) – The international festival of Orthodox music Kolozhsky Blagovest that is due in Grodno on 19-22 February is expecting the record number of participating countries, director of the festival Natalia Gaplinchik said at a press conference on 13 February, BelTA has learned.
“The festival will bring together participants from eleven countries. This is the biggest number we have had so far, which highlights the importance of the Kolozhsky Blagovest festival for the Orthodox world. This year's festival will feature well-known performers and those who will make their debut at the festival, like choirs from Estonia, Finland, and the Netherlands,” Natalia Gaplinchik noted. The lineup will also include artists from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Serbia, Romania, and Uzbekistan, a total of 37 choirs. The qualifying rounds featured more than 800 participants.
The festival will award winners in various categories. Grodno will host not only church, secular, and amateur choirs, but also children's choirs.
“The festival was launched with an aim to revive the Orthodox music traditions. One can be a musician and a specialist, but traditions should be learned from someone. The festival brings together choirs from various countries and gives them an opportunity to exchange best practices,” chairman of the jury Archpriest Andrei Bondarenko said. He stressed that the festival has become one of the most notable events in the cultural life of Grodno and Grodno Oblast.
The Grodno Oblast Drama Theater will play host to the official opening of the festival as well as the awards ceremony and gala concert on 22 February. The competition will be held at the Cathedral of Intercession on 20-21 February.
Grodno cinemas will host screenings and discussions of films about the Orthodox church. A soiree of spiritual poetry and bard songs will take place at the Cathedral of Intercession. The participating choirs will also give evening concerts.
The first edition of the Kolozhsky Blagovest festival was held in 2002 and was timed to the 10th anniversary of the restoration of the Grodno Eparchy. In 2011, the festival got an international status from the Belarusian Culture Ministry. The festival is organized by the Orthodox Eparchy of Grodno in association with the main directorate for culture of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee.