Slavyanka Russian Chorus

Slavyanka Russian Chorus, Inc. is a qualified 501 (c)(3) public benefit charitable corporation.
Tax ID (EIN) 94-2886637

Welcome to our Chorus website. Use the Menu to explore who we are, our history, what we do, review our 40 glorious years of concerts, listen to selections of our recorded music and recent full concert videos.

Meanwhile, while we all mutually struggle with the COVID 19 pandemic, we have some new and extraordinary programs planned for 2022 and 2023. For 2022 in February, we’ll bring you a potpourri of beloved popular Russian music from the last 80 years. In June, a concert of Slavyanka’s greatest hits! In November, we’ll premier a major liturgical masterwork by Konstantin Shvedov, a wonderful Russian composer almost completely unknown in the West, whose uniquely powerful liturgical writing is from the same school that produced Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy and Vespers. In the Spring of 2023, in collaboration with contemporary composers in Russia, you can hear us in a concert series devoted to the great spiritual compositions of Russia’s 20th century, when writing in Russia for the church remained largely impossible, and the spiritual impulse found new ways of expression.. We continue our rehearsals via video/audio conferencing, Jamulus networked music performance software and Estill vocal skills  training  to be prepared for concert performances. 

CONTACT US here at anytime. Financial support, at this time, is especially appreciated. Donations can be considered and made here DONATE. Members can pay dues here MEMBER DUES.

All can access Slavyanka Chorus Recordings here ARCHIVE

Events & Concerts

Russian Diaspora

The Russian diaspora is the global community of ethnic Russians. The Russian-speaking (Russophone) diaspora are the people for whom Russian language is the native language, regardless of whether they are ethnic Russians or, for example, Belarusians, Tatars, or Jews.
A large Russian diaspora (sometimes including Russian-speaking non-Russians), estimated at over 20–30 million people, has developed all over the world, with notable numbers in the United States, Germany, Brazil, and Canada.
Relatively unknown is the understanding and momentousness of the 1000-year-old Russian sacred choral music tradition.

Our Slavyanka Chorus Mission is to:
• Perform music from the varied choral traditions of Russia, Eastern Europe and America.
• Understand and share the cultural history behind these traditions, and
• Contribute to international and intercultural understanding between East and West through the special language of a cappella choral music.

The Sacred Music and Spiritual Legacy of the Russian Emigration

Supporting our mission, on Thursday, September 23rd at 6:30 PM Pacific Time, Slavyanka Chorus hosted an evening with one of the world’s most respected musicologists and publisher of Russian liturgical music, Dr. Vladimir Morosan.
This is a unique opportunity to learn more about a fascinating and relatively unknown part of the 1000-year-old Russian sacred choral music tradition. This tradition suffered tremendous setbacks after the Russian revolution of 1917. But against all odds, due to the courage and perseverance of Russian composers who continued to compose in the emigration (including some in San Francisco), the legacy survived and has continued to bear new fruit. Dr. Morosan will explore with us this sacred music of the Russian emigration, much of which has only recently drawn the attention of performers and audiences.
In addition to his writing, Dr. Morosan is also Founder and President of Musica Russica, a publishing company specializing in the publication and dissemination of Orthodox choral music throughout the Western world. He is also the Director of the "Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library” Project, the largest scholarly online library of Orthodox music.
If you missed the presentation on September 23rd a recording of this
very special evening presentation is available.

CLICK HERE to begin the recording.

After hearing Dr. Morosan's presentation and examples of historical sacred music recordings we hope you may make a donation to provide continuing support of our mission and help us make these evenings possible  Our suggested donation is $10.

Russia Victory Day

May 9, 2021. Victory Day, an annual celebration, marks Germany's surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945. It became the end of the Great Patriotic War for the USSR, which lost about 25 million citizens in four years of fighting. It is a day to remember the enormous suffering and the immense price that was paid by Russians to save the world from Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime. We can never repay the debt we owe to all those of every country who died in that cause.  This year Slavyanaka Chorus, in honor of their memory, performed and recorded Zhuravli, one of the most famous Russian songs about World War II, first performed in 1969 by Mark Bernes. This was our first recording after a year of not rehearsing together in person. The version recorded was orchestrated by Bettina Gray, and features soloist René Mineboo. It was rehearsed and recorded in real time online using Jamulus software. Ron Cohen was sound engineer for the project.

This recording is our very small way of calling them to mind over 75 years later and wishing that though their souls have taken flight from this earth, the memory of what they did and what they gave will be always remembered.
With respect and appreciation,
Slavyanka Chorus
San Francisco, USA
Irina Shachneva, Artistic Director
Paul Andrews, President

Zhuravli, Cranes

YouTube Recording by Slavyanka Chorus

We were so honored to perform at the wedding of Raj and Alexandra June 12, 2021 at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in San Diego. Многая лета / Mnogaya leta / Many, many years to the new, happy couple! Thank you so much for letting us provide the music for your beautiful wedding. — in San Diego, California.

Reflecting the name given by early Russian settlers to what is now called the Russian River in California, the Slavyanka Russian Chorus was formed in 1979 by several former members of the Yale Russian Chorus. The repertoire comprises music principally from Russian and other Slavic sources -- from Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky to many less-well-known composers, and folk music.

We are a community of singers, alumni singers, supporters, and listeners – people like you who come because they love and are moved by what they hear.

For 34 years, the Chorus was a men's chorus that was joined on occasion by female soloists and women's ensembles.

In 2013,, the Chorus officially expanded to include women. Our repertoire now includes music for mixed ensemble and women's voices, as well as distinctive men's choral pieces. 

The Chorus performs extensively in the Bay Area (around 12 concerts annually), and was privileged to be invited to tour and perform in the former Soviet Union and Russia in 1986, 1989, 1999, and 2016.

The Chorus has released eight albums, has appeared on Bay Area television segments, contributed to the PBS documentary Spirit of a People, A New Portrait of Russia, and has recorded music for several movies: Tell Me a Riddle (1980), Little Odessa (1994), and What Dreams May Come (1998). 

The Chorus' Artistic Director is Irina Shachneva (2012-present). Former directors include Paul Andrews (1979-1991; interim 2012), Alexei Shipovalnikov (1991-1997), and Gregory Smirnov (1997-2011).

A Board of Directors, Managers and volunteers manage the Chorus