Global Conference to Explore Future of Orthodox Church Music

Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium – 9/6/2020

Yonkers, NY – Orthodox Christians are often considered the most traditional Christians, yet the latest technology is making it possible for an international gathering of Orthodox church musicians to take place during the COVID-19 global pandemic, exploring and preparing for the future of Orthodox Church Music.

Participants at the 3-day online 2020 Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium will explore the theme of “Music as Liturgy” beginning Thursday, June 11. The event, co-sponsored by The International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM) and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVS), will feature masterclasses, presentations, and workshops for training and educating current and future music leaders.

“The response to this event has been overwhelming,” according to Protopresbyter Ivan Moody, Society chairman. “It is, in spite of or perhaps because of moving to an online format, on a large scale: a sure sign that these kinds of occasions are absolutely necessary both spiritually and culturally.”

Three presentations will be open to the general public:

Keynote Address: Music as Liturgy, presented by Dr. Susan Ashbrook Harvey

Thursday, 11 June 2020 at 4 pm EDT with Q&A sessions

U.S. Access:

International Access:

Keynote Address: Liturgy as Music, presented by Father Ivan Moody

Friday, 12 June 2020 at 4 pm EDT with Q&A sessions

U.S. Access:

International Access:

Piano Performance: A Bright Sadness: Piano Works Inspired by Orthodox Chant, presented by Dr. Paul Barnes

Friday, 12 June 2020 at 6 pm EDT


The Symposium is the third of its kind hosted in North America hosted by the Finland-based ISOCM, and first co-organized with the New York-based St. Vladimir’s Seminary. As one of the largest gatherings of Orthodox church musicians anywhere in the world over the last 20 years, this year’s event has garnered interest from Orthodox and non-Orthodox musicians alike.

“I think the numbers speak for themselves,” said Dr. Peter Bouteneff, director of the Seminary’s Institute of Sacred Arts, adding, “Nearly 200 registrants from 12 countries, across different jurisdictions and confessions. This tells us how thirsty we all are for a connection through music, and for improving our skills for the Church. It’s a joy to help address that need!”

This year’s event is dedicated to the life and legacy of the Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, 92, the pioneering composer of Orthodox Christian chant in the English-language. During the Symposium, a music reading session will present selected new compositions written in honor of Father Sergei. On Thursday, June 11 at 4 pm EDT, a public dedication ceremony will be held. Symposium organizers will offer reflections and a short video celebrating the pastoral work and musical accomplishments of Father Sergei who is expected to join this special event with members of his family. For more information and to join the event:

“Father Sergei is beloved by so many, and his musical labors for nearly 70 years continue to impact the Orthodox world,” said Dr. Bouteneff. “His music enlivens our prayers, bringing us into a deeper relationship with the liturgy.”

A full schedule of events, presenter biographies, and topics of presentations are available at


About the International Society for Orthodox Church Music

Founded in 2005, the ISOCM seeks to provide an open platform for musicians, musicologists, singers, and composers that encourages dialogue, the exchange of information and ideas, and inspires cooperation. The Society sees the promotion of communication between East and West as one of its priorities and hosts biannual conferences, at the University of Eastern Finland on its Joensuu campus. The Society also hosts regional symposia and gatherings elsewhere throughout the world to help create opportunities for collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in the field of Orthodox liturgical music.

For more information about the ISOCM, visit:

About St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary serves Christ, his Church, and the world through Orthodox Christian theological education, research, and scholarship, and the promotion of inter-Orthodox cooperation. The pan-Orthodox graduate school of theology within the canonical jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is located in New York’s Westchester County. The Seminary’s programs are registered by the New York State Education Department and are accredited nationally by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The Seminary grants the degrees of Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), Master of Theology (Th.M.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), and Master of Arts (M.A.). The seminary’s Institute of Sacred Arts makes events like the Symposium possible for the general public.

For more information about the Seminary, visit: