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Greeting At the U.S. Premier of Savvas Karatzias’ “Theophanes the Greek" (Symphony Space)

Greeting

By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

At the U.S. Premier of Savvas Karatzias’

“Theophanes the Greek”

Symphony Space

New York, New York

November 9, 2021

 

Maestro Karatzias,

Maestro Tsourakis,

Honorable Consul General of Greece Konstantinos Konstantinou,

Distinguished Representatives of the Island of Rhodes,

Dear Friend Anthoula Katsimatidis

Beloved Cathedral Choir, Youth Choir and Orchestra,

Sisters and Brothers,

Tonight, we have witnessed a grand form of synesthetic wonder. Voices of indescribable beauty, notes resounding in our hearing, have gifted us with a portrait of one of the greatest of all iconographers of the two thousand history of our Holy Orthodox Church.

In his life, Theophanes the Greek used colors, shapes, form and vision to arouse the spiritual aspirations in the human soul. And tonight, it is as if all the iridescence, hue and pigmentation of his artistic genius has been transmuted into sound and voice.

What a wonderful offering you have made, Maestro Karatzias, to the world and to us, who are privileged to be here in this symphonic space tonight.

I also would like to congratulate Maestro Costas Tsourakis, the Cathedral Music Director, and all the musicians and singers, for a truly magnificent performance of this aesthetic jewel. Many of you may know that Theophanes the Greek – who lived in the Fourteenth and early Fifteenth Centuries – was the embodiment of the iconographic tradition of Constantinople, the same tradition that through his hands, enriched the Slavic Schools of Novgorod and Moscow. He was the teacher of Andrei Rublev, whose Holy Trinity Icon, now in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, is considered perhaps the most perfect icon ever painted.

In this moment, when our Russian Orthodox Brethren have been deceived by the leaders of their government and their Church to wage war against their natural and spiritual kinsmen, I have a special hope and prayer inspired by tonight’s offering. May the beautiful and the good – τὸ καλὸν κἀγαθόν, that Theophanes the Greek brought to Russia, and by which the most sublime spiritual aesthetic of Constantinople was incarnated in the Slavic People – may it find its way again into their hearts through these beautiful harmonies and melodies.

May this music create a morphic field and resonate throughout space and time for the benefit of all.

May it bring about peace, comfort, and healing to this horrific violence and this war that is being waged out of hatred and envy. May it be a balm for the Peoples of Ukraine and Russia, and lead them back to the beauty that Theophanes the Greek brought to their lands so many centuries ago.

My dear friends,

Tonight, we have all witnessed a truth that was expressed by a pious Russian, Fyodor Dostoevsky: “I believe the world will be saved by beauty.”*

Indeed, something of the salvation of the cosmos has been engendered here this evening, and I pray that it reverberates across the world to the health, redemption and restoration of all who will hear and feel its rapturous sound.

Thank you all!