Serbian Byzantine choir
“ …and this man of good judgment called from the Holy Mountain hieromonk Anatolios, a knowledgeable chanter. And founding a Greek school in Belgrade, he chose, time after time, juveniles with excellent voices, lectured by this chanter according to the Greek chant method, in an adequate amount; and thus he gladdened Church a lot…”
Archimandrite John Raich (1726 – 1801)
Through the efforts of the Metropolitan Moisey, the “Psalter Chanting School” was created in Belgrade in 1731. One of the most well known chanters of his time, the hieromonk fr. Anatoly from the monastery of Vatoped, on Mount Athos, was invited to lecture here. This event brought about a renaissance of church singing among Serbs.
Inclining towards the everlasting fountain of Athonite tradition, the choir who bear the name of the restorer of Serbian Byzantine psalmody together is reviving the work of the Belgrade chanting school.
The choir are dedicated to researching and presenting authentic orthodox Christian church music. The repertoire of the choir contains compositions from Greek and southern Slavonic melographs from the Middle Ages until the present day, as well as melodies from unknown authors whose fountainhead is the oral tradition of the various local churches.
Altogether the chanting opus is written in new analytic byzantine. Greek textual poems are faithfully rendered in the Slavonic liturgical language.
The choir was founded in 1996 and since then, they have been appearing on solo concerts, festivals and theatrical performances, as well as taking part in liturgies and all night vigils at various churches and monasteries at home and abroad. The founder of the choir, Nikola Popmihajlov, was born in Belgrade in 1968. He graduated in Byzantine music at the Athens National Conservatory in the class of the professor Mr. Michael S. Makris. Since 1994 he chants continuously in the chapel of the holy ap. and ev. John the Theologian, and from 1996 is the first chanter in the same church.
Mr. Popmihajlov is a member of Serbian Musical Artists Society. At 1999 he has been given the status of a free artist. At present, he is an honorary lecturer at the Theological faculty of the University of Belgrade, as well as the teacher in a number of monasteries and parishes of the Serbian church. Nikola Popmihajlov is the author of the first ever byzantine music course book in Serbian language — “A Chanters' Guidebook through the Contemporary Neumatic Notation”.