Preserving tradition: The Psaltries Choir of Melbourne and the beauty of Byzantine music

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The Psaltries Choir of Melbourne stands as a beacon of artistic excellence and cultural preservation within the realm of Byzantine music. Established in 2022, this esteemed vocal group is a proud member of the Women in Byzantine Music Worldwide Association, the world’s first official and largest platform for women in Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music.

Under the guidance of Professor Nektaria Karantzi, a renowned female Byzantine Cantor and scholar, the choir presents a musical exploration revealing the subtle complexities and deep spirituality of Byzantine music. Through regular rehearsals and classes, Nekatria imparts her expertise and passion to the choir members, nurturing their understanding of this ancient musical form.

Psaltries

The Choir’s local coordination and leadership is overseen by Ioanna Nikoloulea, a dedicated student of Professor Nektaria. Together, they cultivate a deep appreciation for Byzantine chanting, specializing in the dissemination and study of sacred hymns.

Byzantine music is more than a mere composition of melodies and rhythms. It is interwoven with history, theology, and artistry, transcending earthly boundaries and offering a spiritual language that connects the human soul with the divine. Each chant, hymn, and psalm carries centuries-old tradition, reflecting human connection and need for spiritual enlightenment.

At the heart of Byzantine music are the Psaltries—female cantors who embody the essence of this heavenly dialogue. They are not only singers but also custodians of a sacred legacy, preserving and transmitting a spiritual heritage that traces its roots back to the early days of Christianity. Through their voices, the Psaltries bring to life the ancient hymns, transforming them to resonate deeply with the soul.

Psaltries

With Professor Nektaria Karantzi, the Psaltries Choir of Melbourne is fostering a new generation of Psaltries, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry forward this ancient tradition. They are not only mastering a musical form; they are becoming stewards of a living tradition—a spiritual legacy transcending time and space.

The future of Byzantine music hinges not only on preserving its past but also on adapting these timeless hymns to resonate with modern sensibilities, ensuring that this musical and spiritual heritage continues for generations to come.

Psaltries

Professor Nektaria Karantzi emphasises that the excellence of Byzantine music lies not only in its musicality but in its spiritual depth. It has power to mystically touch the souls of listeners and transcend all cultural and linguistic barriers.

Reaching out to new generations and diverse audiences, the Psaltries Choir of Melbourne  paves the way for a future that honours the past and embraces the present.

To learn more about the Psaltries Choir of Melbourne and their dedication to Byzantine music, please visit the Women in Byzantine Music website at –womeninbyzantinemusic.com/psaltries-choir-melbourne or nektariakarantzi.com

The Psaltries Choir of Melbourne is amongst many Greek Australian artists who have participated in the GAAD (Greek Australian Artist Directory). An initiative by the Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL), the GAAD celebrates Greek Australian visual and performing artists by showcasing their works and contributions to the Australian arts landscape.  By preserving and promoting the artistic legacy of Greek Australian artists, the directory ensures that their talents are duly acknowledged and cherished, cementing their place in Australia’s artistic narrative.

Psaltries

Interested Greek Australian artists, as well as artists whose work is inspired by Greek culture, can register their profiles by visiting www.gacl.com.au and clicking on the dedicated GAAD section.  For any inquiries related to the GAAD, individuals can either email GACL President Cathy Alexopoulos infogaclm@gmail.com or contact GAAD Co-ordinator Vasy Petros on 0412 242557

*This is a Greek Australian Cultural League Initiative supported by The Greek Herald.

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