Part 1

  • HANDEL Messiah

Part 2

  • BEREZOVSKY Symphony No 1
  • BORTNIANSKY Let My Prayer Arise
  • VEDEL How Long Oh Lord







Georg Friedrich Händel’s Messiah has always stood the test of time: from the moment of its creation and for over two and a half centuries, it has never lost its relevance – it is constantly being performed. Time and again this music reflects the power of Händel’s dramatic talent and his proficiency in inventing the most expressive sounds. The spiritual message, which holds a synthesis of different styles, has spread throughout the world, allowing the audience to experience biblical events with the power of the best theatrical dramaturgy.

The Spiritual Concertos by Maxym Berezovsky, Dmitry Bortniansky and Artemy Vedel convey a different perspective of the sacred Christian texts. These composers were Händel’s younger contemporaries and lived at a time when European music was discovering and celebrating the beauty of the galant style. However, the spiritual concerti of the Ukrainians conveyed a refined sacred tradition that was distinct from galantry style. The expressive originality of these works is based on a clear understanding of the unbroken tradition of Ukrainian church polyphony. The sound of the choral a cappella singing of these works grows out of the orthodox tradition, where the diversity of human voices is of great use. From the 17th century this way of praising the Lord, new for Ukraine, with many voices, modelled on the Venetian polychoirs, had an unprecedented flourish, changing the style versions with time, yet invariably relying on the powerful expressiveness of voices and infinite possibilities of their variation.

Berezovsky’s symphony outlines this context, demonstrating the composer’s mastery of one of the main genres of the galant era – the symphony. Its light, transparent texture meets the ideas of the sound aesthetics of the time, recalling and reaffirming even today that the composer rightly held the title of academician of the Academy of Bologna, along with Mysliveček and Mozart.

Orchestra of St John’s, OSJ Voices

Founded in 1967, OSJ has always been engaged at the heart of the community, sharing its music with diverse audiences and exploring new ways of involving minority groups through its Connections programme. OSJ’s musicians provide more than 70 musical events each year for Children with autism, adults with dementia, and refugees. OSJ’s Young Performers scheme helps the development of many aspiring professionals and supports performance by talented young musicians from a range of ethnic and social backgrounds. OSJ also has a rich history of commissioning and performing new works from young composers.

John Lubbock, Conductor, Artistic Director

John Lubbock is well known as the founder and conductor of the Orchestra of St John’s. John Lubbock’s life has music at its core: he was a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music, went on to join the John Alldis choir, was a founder member of the London Symphony Chorus and then one of the Swingle Singers. John is best known today as a conductor and particularly for his long association with the BBC Proms, which included conducting a number of acclaimed world premieres.

In 1999 John received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music. In 2015 he was awarded an OBE for services to the Orchestra of St John’s and to people with autism and learning difficulties in the UK. He was a finalist in the prestigious The Times/Sternberg Active Life Award 2015.

Bohdana Pivnenko

bohdaa pivnenko big photo

Bohdana Pivnenko has performed as a soloist with the leading Ukrainian orchestras and presented Ukrainian musical culture at concerts in Paris, Vienna, and Berlin, and at festivals such as the International Youth & Music Festival Vienna (Gran Prix winner), Berliner Festspiele MaerzMusik, Europaisches Klassik Festival (Ruhr), “Kyiv-Musik-Fest”, the Warsaw Autumn, Nostalgie, Malta-Festival(Poland) and others. Graduated with honours and completed an assistantship program course from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine, she is the laureate of numerous world competitions and special prizes. The violinist has toured with recitals in Spain (including Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona), Poland, Georgia, Netherlands, Lithuania, Ukraine, Armenia, England, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, USA (including Weil Hall Carnegie Hall).

Chamber Choir “Kyiv”

chamber choir kyiv big photo

The Chamber Choir “Kyiv” was founded in December 1990 by the conductor Mykola Hobdych. It has performed thousands of concerts in at least 21 countries. The choir has performed at renowned venues in the USA, such as Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral, and the White House. The choir performs a cappella. Its repertoire includes well-known classical compositions, Ukrainian composers such as Mykola Lysenko, Mykola Leontovych, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Artem Vedel, and Mykola Diletsky.

The Chamber Choir “Kyiv” has been awarded and praised in international choral competitions. These include first prizes in the 1st Schumann International Choral Competition in Zwickau in Germany, the 12th International competition of Choir Music in Poland, the 7th international Choirs Competition at Sligo in Ireland, and the second prize in the Choir of the Year Competition.

handel messiah
  • Date: September 30, 2022
  • Start: 7:30 pm
  • Venue: The Sheldonian Theatre

Handel “Messiah”
Vedel “How Long Oh Lord”
Bortniansky “Let My Prayer Arise”
Berezovsky “Symphony 1 in C Major”