The Task Fears the Maestro; Reflections on a Choral Master Class with Vladimir Gorbik


Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles. The Master Class took place August 22-24, 2017


There is a Russian adage which translates as “the task fears the master craftsman,”[*] meaning work goes well when one knows one’s business. In the case of the recent master class in choral singing and conducting, entitled The Performance and Interpretation of Russian Sacred Choral Music,one could easily change this adage to “the task fears the Maestro,” for indeed, our appointed craftsman knew his business.

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As we know, everything ancient needs careful protection and restoration. Father Nazari started this process, and we receive some donations for the restoration and renovation of our unique spiritual shrines. For a long time the problem has been especially acute that we need to arrange more reliable protection for the church, that is why during several Parish Council meetings the installation of a video surveillance system has been considered. It  would help us protect our shrines, in addition, ensure the safety of our parishioners and their belongings, as well as the safety of our clergy, servants and employees of our church.

We are happy to inform you that we collected $15,200.00 and were able to schedule the installation of video surveillance protection system on October 9th. We still need anothr $4,800.00 to collect in order to finish the project. Please be generous and boost it up. We need your help.

Alla Bobrova,


Master Class with V. Gorbik "The Performance and Interpretation of Orthodox Sacred Choral Music”

A master class, "The performance and Interpretation of Orthodox Choral Music," took place on August 22nd-24th at Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral and was successfully conducted by Vladimir Gorbik, an eminent conductor and Orthodox church choirmaster from Moscow.

About 40 participants from different parts of the US and even from Canada arrived in our church in order to gain experience and join a spiritual, centuries-old tradition, the bearer of which is Maestro Gorbik.

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Micheltorena Concert Series presents A tribute to GEORGE & IRA GERSHWIN "I GOT RHYTHM" by GANNA SORBAT TRIO

Dear Gershwin fans, you're invited to A tribute to GEORGE & IRA GERSHWIN "I Got Rhythm" performed by GANNA SORBAT TRIO presented by Micheltorena Concert Series. 

Introducing internationally renowned pianist and singer GANNA SORBAT, PAUL ECKMAN on bass and WILLIE McNEIL on drums
Featuring a special guest - accomplished concert and jazz pianist SERGEY CHIPENKO
Host of the show - GANNA SORBAT

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August 22-24, 2017 -- Vladimir Gorbik, eminent conductor and Orthodox church choirmaster from Moscow will offer 3 days of his inimitable instruction in the performance and interpretation of Orthodox sacred choral music.Please see registration information below in the right column.

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Russian Saturday School Commencement concert 2017

Russian Saturday School Commencement concert with the rewarding of the best students was held on June10th. We would like to thank our students, teachers and parents who participated in this beautiful and deeply touching rendition of the life story of the last Imperial Romanov family.

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Holy Spirit Day – Annual Sisterhood Celebration

On the day of the Holy Spirit, Monday June 5th, the Sisterhood of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral celebrated their Patronal Feast Day. This is an annual celebration which originated in 1934.

On the morning of the Feast Day, many of the Sisterhood members attended Divine Liturgy and partook of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. In the evening the Rector of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Father Nazari Polataiko, celebrated a moleben to the Holy Trinity, before the icon of the Holy Trinity which was written for the Sisterhood many years ago. 

Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) attended the moleben and prayed in the Altar.

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Leonid Gregory_funeral service May 13th, 2017

Every time when we have contact with the mystery of the death -especially the departure from this life of our close ones - many questions arise in our minds: "Why now?"  "Why him (or her)?"  "Why, why, why?"

In this way we show the protest of our soul against something unnatural to humanity, something contrary to our nature, which became an unchanging facet of human life, and we protest death.

This is also proof of the fact that our life in its totality is fully known only to God, and we should together with Apostle Paul cry out “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out!”

And really the ways of God's wisdom are beyond our comprehension. Why? Some are rich and others are poor, one is really healthy and another is not, one is given a chance to see his great grandchildren and other is called to eternal life early.

Leo was blessed with many long years. He was a source of blessing and grace, he was an example, a source of encouragement and inspiration.


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Tchaikovsky Concert 2017

On April 30, 2017, we organized one more concert from Micheltorena Concert SeriesThe performance was dedicated to "The Seasons " by P.I. Tchaikovsky, and included, in addition to the performance of piano pieces, classical recitation, acting sketches and dance in avant-garde style, conveying the lyrical mood of the characteristic plays. Our parish choir opened the concert with the Paschal troparion and Tchaikovsky's Holy God, and performed magnificently. Marilya Shcherbakova performed on the piano, Andrey Kalugin presented dance and acting sketches, and Ganna Semenova gave recitation and acting sketches, and all were spectacular. Especially for the concert, our parishioner Gedda Ilves translated and recited Tchaikovsky's poems.

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On behalf of the clergy and the faithful of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral, we wish one and all a most joyful and blessed celebration and feast of the Holy Pascha of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This year our community celebrated Pascha on Sunday April 16th. More than 1000 people came to join us in our celebration and to bless their Paschal baskets. Divine services were joyous and colorful.  Our  Sisterhood and flower ladies  decorated the Temple in preparation for this exuberant celebration.

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Palm Sunday 2017

On April 8th-9th our Parish was again blessed with Archpastoral visit of our ruling Hierarch Most Rev. Benjamin Archbishop of San Francisco and the West.

Hi Eminence presided over Festive Vigil and blessed almost 100 people with palms and pussy willows.

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On Wednesday April 5th the Sacrament of the Holy Unction was served at our parish.

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On Wednesday April 5th at 7 pm the Sacrament of Holy Unction will be served at our Church. Everyone is invited! The Holy Church has established this sacrament based on the Epistle of Holy Apostle James 5: 14-15:  “14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven”.

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Bearing of our own cross

Each and every one of us are bearing its own cross, only by carrying our cross we can gain freedom from our sins. It is the only way in to The Kingdom of Christ. Our suffering is our sacrifice to God, it is the potential of our own spiritual renewal and salvation.
In one of his homilies St. John Chrysostom said: " The Kingdom of Heaven can be achieved only by bearing of our own cross".

First week of Great Lent

With God’s help the first week of Great Lent was successful and rich in prayers.

Services of the First week of Great Lent are so beautiful. Hours with vespers in the morning and last part of Great Canon in the evening, so deep and moving.

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The wonderworking icon of the Mother Of God

Please see the photos of the wonderworking icon of the Mother Of God "Abbess of Mount Athos" following the link to our photo gallery:

Wonderworking icon of the Mother Of God "Abbess of Mount Athos"

Veneration of the Icon and Akathist hymn to the Mother Abbess of Mount Athos


Interview with 'Golos Ameriki' on October 24th, 2016

Russian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles, interview with 'Golos Ameriki' on October 24th, 2016: russian-church-in-la/3564479. html

Patronal Feast Day

On February 4th and 5th our Cathedral celebrated its Patronal Feast Day dedicated to wonderworking icon of All Holly Theotokos “Rescuer of the Perishing”. His Eminence Benjamin Archbishop of San Francisco and the West presided over Vigil on Saturday night and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. On Sunday morning Vladyka was greeted with bread and salt at the entrance of the cathedral by Parish Warden (Starosta) Leo Gregory and Parish Rector Archpriest Nazari Polataiko, Archpriest Arkady Mironko, Archpriest Gregory Winsky, Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov and Protodeacon Arkady Voloshchuk.

Before the beginning of the Divine Litirgy His Eminence ordained Reader Peter Winsky to subdeacon.

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The Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ

On 19th of January we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Julian calendar. According to the Scripture, when Christ was baptized: “He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; and lo, a voice from heaven saying This is my beloved Son” (Matthew 3,17).
Many parishioner and visitors of Holy The Holy Virgin Mary Russian Cathedral, gathered at their parish temple to celebrate the feast day of Theophany of our Lord on Julian calendar. Archpriest Nazari Polataiko, rector of the parish, led the services of the feast day.

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