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Arvo Pärt’s a cappella choral work, O Holy Saint Nicholas, will be premiered in New York City in the Fall of 2021.
The premiere will take place during the opening of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center Ground Zero site, performed by Schola Cantorum and guest conducted by Benedict Sheehan (Grammy Nominated). The work was commissioned specially for this occasion by the Schola Cantorum and its founder and artistic director Nektarios S. Antoniou, who serves also as Archdiocesan Director of Culture & Principal Cantor at the National Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York.
The new choral work (lasting ca. 15 minutes) is based on the English text of a prayer from the Orthodox liturgy, taken from the troparion of the feast day of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Arvo Pärt has used this same text before – in the third part of his choral work Triodion and in Russian in Alleluia-Tropus, a work written for vocal ensemble.