The Yale Russian Chorus is a tenor-bass a cappella choral ensemble specializing in sacred and secular Slavic choral music. Chorus members are Yale University students from a variety of academic disciplines. Founded in 1953 by Denis Mickiewicz, a Yale student at the time, the YRC is recognized as one of the world’s premier performance ensembles of Slavic music today.
The repertoire spans the twelfth century to the twenty-first, and stretches across Eastern Europe from Slovakia to Georgia, including a variety of sacred and secular settings. These include ancient chant, folk songs, and works by Tchaikovsky, Bortnyansky, Kedrov, and Chesnokov, to name a few. In 1999, the YRC also performed Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Yale Symphony Orchestra and the Yale Glee Club.
Performances in the past have been held at the White House, the Smithsonian, and the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.; Carnegie Hall, the Winter Garden, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan; and Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in Boston. The Yale Russian Chorus has also gone on tour in Ukraine, Russia, and throughout the United States, has recorded two high profile CDs, has cultivated major events such as the Slavic Choral Festival at Yale, and has attracted the attention of the professional arts media.
The chorus rehearses for two and a half hours every week on Monday evenings. Admission is by audition and is open to all interested persons from the Yale and New Haven communities. To schedule an audition at any point during the school year, please contact our president at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yale Sterling Memorial Library maintains an on-line exhibit of YRC memorabilia from 1953 to the present.
Stephan Sveshnikov ’s first introduction to choral music was the incense-filled interior of the Russian church where his father served as priest. Though he plays classical piano and conducts genres from Sondheim to Mozart, Stephan’s true passion is the music of the slavic world, and it is with the Yale Russian Chorus that that passion has truly taken flight.
Stephan is a senior History Major at Yale University