The Konevets Quartet was founded in 1992 by four young musicians from the St Petersburg Conservatoire who were singing in the choir of the Konevets Monastery of the Holy Nativity on the island of Konevets in Lake Ladoga. Their first audiences were the people working on the restoration of the monastery, and the pilgrims and tourists who came to the island.
All the members of the ensemble studied at the St Petersburg Glinka Choir College. Trained in the tradition of Russian song, the Konevets Quartet is not just a group of individual soloists, but is in essence a chamber choir dedicated to creating a perfect harmonious ensemble sound.
At the heart of their repertoire is Russian church music, from ancient material written for the monasteries to works by 20th century composers. The earliest church music is sung in unison or in arrangement for two or three voices, and in contemporary four-voice arrangements, many of them written by members of the Konevets Quartet.
Apart from church music, their concert programmes often include a variety of Russian folk songs and military songs and marches from the days of the Imperial army — songs which were all but lost during Soviet times. The repertoire also draws on settings of Russian poems arranged for male voice choirs by Russian classical composers.
The Konevets Quartet has participated in leading international festivals in Russia, Great Britain, the US, France, Italy, Ireland and Scandinavia. Their recordings are on sale in many countries, and have received high acclaim from critics and the music press. A concert or a recording by the Konevets Quartet always offers a fascinating program, and the chance to learn more of the rich tradition of Russian choral music and the music of the male voice chamber choir.
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