The State Museum St Isaac’s Cathedral –
The Museum Complex
The Smolny Cathedral

One of the most famous choirs in St Petersburg, the Smolny Cathedral Chamber Choir was established in 1991. Since the founding among its leaders were Stanislav Legkov, Andrey Petrenko and Eduard Krotman. In 2004 the Honored Artist of Russia Vladimir Begletsov became its chief conductor and art director. The young age of Maestro, the excellent education he received (a graduate of piano, choral conducting and conducting departments of the St Petersburg Conservatory), his experience of working with the State Academic Cappella of St Petersburg, and his teaching for many years at the Glinka Choir School, all of these contributed to the Choir’s success.


Apart from Russian and Western classical music, performed by any professional musicians, the repertoire of the Smolny Cathedral Chamber Choir includes 20th century music and rarely performed pieces, ranging from cantatas of Petrine time to the latest works by Desyatnikov. The Choir is equally perfect performing difficult scores of Taneev and Shostakovich, Orf and Penderetsky, Shnitke and Stravinsky. It was the Smolny Cathedral Chamber Choir that performed for the first time Orthros by Penderetsky in St Petersburg, 2006. The same year saw the world premiere of The scourge of Juvenal by Sviridov.

The level of performing skills achieved today by the Choir is quite consistent with wide-ranging interests of its art director. Practically each of the thirty-two choir members, graduates or students of the St Petersburg Conservative, is capable of performing as a solo singer. In keeping with the definition of “chamber’, the word present in the choir name, Begletsov strives to achieve virtuosity in sound, his attention is always focused on subtle details. At he same time, the Smolny Cathedral Chamber Choir presents with great success such monumental works as Verdi’s Requiem or Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil. The Cathedral Smolny Choir is a truly modern chorus. Its vocal style combines light and defined European singing with characteristically Russian rich and full timbre.

The Choir gives regular performances at Smolny, St Isaac’s, St Sampson`s Cathedrals, the Church of the Savior on Blood, in the Philharmonic and Cappella halls, participates in numerous festivals, including All-Russia chorus assemblies and the Easter festival. The Choir went on tours of Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia. Among its regular art partners are symphony orchestras of the St Petersburg Philharmonia, the State Hermitage, the State Cappella; conductors N. Alexeev, V. Gergiev, A. Dmitriev, K. Kord, V. Nesterov, K. Penderetsky, G. Rozhdestvensky, S.Sondetskis, Yu. Temirkanov, V. Chernushenko and others.


Art Director