Born in Chicago of Russian-émigré parents, Peter Jermihov is an American conductor with Russian roots. An advocate of the Russian School of Conducting, he has cultivated a versatile career by combining professional conducting engagements with teaching appointments, choral with orchestral conducting, and music-making with research.
An internationally recognized specialist in Russian music and Orthodox liturgical music, Jermihov is also a devoted proponent of East-West cultural exchange. Here in the United States, he has promoted the music of Valery Gavrilin, Soﬁa Gubaidulina, Gennadiy Lapayev, Arvo Pärt, Rodion Schedrin, Alfred Schnitke, and Georgy Sviridov, and many other Russian and Eastern-European composers. In Soviet Russia, he conducted premiere performances of Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 4 with the country’s leading orchestras; and, in Post-1991 Russia, he introduced the compositions of numerous American and British composers, such as Ben Johnston, Ivan Moody, Kurt Sander, Phillip Schroeder, John Tavener, and Tikey Zes. Jermihov’s doctoral dissertation was dedicated to Georgy Sviridov, and he continues to champion the music of this major composer in the West.
Jermihov came to the St. Petersburg State Conservatory as a Fulbright-Hays Fellow and International Research and Exchanges Board Scholar to study orchestral conducting under the legendary master teacher Il’ya Musin. After two years of intensive studies he was invited to guest-conduct the country’s top ensembles: the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Petersburg and Moscow Chamber Choirs, among others. Subsequently, he made guest-conducting appearances with major orchestras in the Far East and Europe, such as the Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo and the Pro Arte Orchester Wien. In 1988 he participated in a historic celebration of a Thousand Years of Christianity in Russia by conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Symphony No. 5. He continues to guest-conduct internationally acclaimed choirs and orchestras in the Orient, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the United States.
During his formative years, Jermihov studied conducting under such renowned choral masters as Eric Erickson of Sweden, Vladimir Minin of Russia, and Helmuth Rilling of Germany. He was invited to the Tanglewood Music Center under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa as a Conducting Fellow and to the American Orchestra League’s Conducting Seminars under Kurt Masur and Leonard Slatkin as an Active Participant. Appearing with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Jermihov was selected as a Finalist in the Afﬁliate Artists Conductor’s Program. He had the privilege of serving as Robert Shaw and Vladimir Minin’s assistant in preparing Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem at the 2nd World Symposium on Choral Music in Stockholm.
Jermihov has served as director of choral and orchestral activities at several major state universities and private colleges. His articles and editions of choral music appear in the Choral Journal, International Federation of Choral Music Journal, Musica Russica, Inc., PSALM Music Press, and numerous other publications. His translation of Il’ya Musin’s landmark book, On Educating a Conductor, will be published in 2014.
The Choir is named for Saint Tikhon (Belavin), a saint who is uniquely honored for his accomplishments and vision in both North America and Russia. While serving as Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Aleutians and North America, from 1898 to 1907, he did many things to facilitiate the spread of Orthodoxy in America, including the founding of St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, and ministering to the various ethnic groups of Orthodox in America, both in their native languages and in English. Upon his return to Russia, his reputation as an extraordinary archpastor grew, whereupon he was elected Patriarch of All Russia in 1917, the first to hold that high office since the year 1700. Shepherding the Russian Orthodox Church during the extreme difficulties brought on by atheist Communist repression and persecution of religion, Patriarch Tikhon endured immense physical and spiritual trials, including several arrests and imprisonments, which resulted in a martyr’s death in 1925. In 1989 he was glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The educational vision and missionary zeal of Patriarch Tikhon while he was Bishop in North America is reflected in the long-term mission of the Patriarch Tikhon Choir’s organizers. Besides concert activities, a series of educational initiatives are being planned—choral workshops, master classes for conductors, and musical resources—aimed at having a positive impact upon the cultivation and practice of Orthodox liturgical choral singing in North America.
For more information about the life of St. Tikhon, visit the website of the Orthodox Church in America.
(b. 1970) began his musical studies in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and continued them at the Moscow State Conservatory, completing a specialization in choral conducting in 1998 and in orchestral conducting in 2000. Since 1996 he has served as the choir director at the Moscow Respresentation Church (Metochion) of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery, and since 1998 has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional men’s chorus formed at the Metochion. With this choir he has made more than a dozen outstanding recordings, of both liturgical services and concert programs. The choir has on numerous occasions sung at Patriarchal services in the Dormition Cathedral in the Kremlin, and they accompanied Patriarch Alexy II on his trip to the Holy Land in 2000. The repertoire of the Metochion’s Men’s Chorus cultivates the finest repertoire and interpretive traditions of the Moscow School and the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. For his outstanding achievements and service, he has received an award of recognition (gramota) from the Patriarch, and the medal of the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 2nd Degree. In September 2012, he was appointed to the conducting faculty of the Moscow State Conservatory. Since then he was awarded awarded a “Blessed Letter of Commendation” by Merkuriy, Metropolitan of Rostov and Novocherkassk , chairman of the Synodal Department for Religious Education and Catechesis of the Russian Orthodox Church, for the January 29, 2014 participation of the Men’s Choir of the Moscow Representation of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery (Lavra) in the Kremlin Concert Hall and the Concert Hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the context of the XXII International Christmas Educational Readings.