The mission of the Worldwide Association of “Women in Byzantine Music” is to connect and inspire female chanters and choirs from around the world to bring joy and unity among its members through byzantine ecclesiastic music.
Byzantine chant is a life-long learning experience. On our site, we hope to engage in meaningful discussion, reflection, and innovation in the hopes of providing support to our members.
HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION
The Worldwide Association of "Women in Byzantine Music" is the worlds first official and largest membership platform for the women in Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music. The association was established in Greece in 2013 by Nektaria Karantzi, the prominent Greek vocalist of the sacred music and acclaimed as one of the most important female voices in byzantine chant worldwide, and her student Glykeria Mpekiari. The Association was initially operating in Greece, in order to bring together all the women who love, learn and practice the byzantine musical art and soon afterwards expanded its activities abroad and started to accept registration applications from many countries.
Currently, the Association maintains representative members worldwide, available willing to contribute to any worthwhile cultural efforts concerning Byzantine music and to help our members in the respective countries they represent. As well as individual members, the Association also supports byzantine and sacred music Women Choirs from around the world.
The Association is also an auxiliary member of the “Federation of the Associations of the Hieropsaltes of Greece” and a cooperate member of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Athens’ “Sacra Musica” Records, which is under the aegis of the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Ieronymos II.
The Association's work, purpose and mission is gratefully supported by some of the greatest and most prominent Hieropsaltes (Chanters of Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music) since its foundation, like the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: Charilaos Taliadoros, Theodoros Vassilikos, Charis Ntaravoglou, Fotios Ketsetzis, Dimitrios Nerantzis, Georgios Chatzitheodorou to name a few.
The Worldwide Association of "Women in Byzantine Music" is a non-profit organisation registered according to Greek law, under the registration number 29881 / Recognition Order Number 4/2013, Peristeri County Court.
Board of Directors:
Glykeria Mpekiari (President)
Ioanna Drakos (Australia)
Monja Milinkovic Jovic (Serbia)
Jihane Khairallah (Lebanon)
Amrita Dudvani (Russia)
Dorotthea Lacurezeanu (Romania)
Christina Lovera (Italy)
Abeer Najjar (Syria)
S. Kasijana (FYROM)
Abbot Sofronia (Monastery of Holy Trinity, Akrata, Greece)
*If you would like to join us as a representative member in your region, please feel free to contact us.
ABOUT SAINT PORFYRIOS
Saint Pophyrios of Kavsokalyvia, that well-known and enlightened saint of our time is an Athonite hieromonk known for his gifts of spiritual discernment. He loved Byzantine hymnography very much and he liked byzantine music chanted by women during the Divine Liturgies. In his times, he gave the idea and blessed the creation of a woman choir chanting during the divine liturgies at the St Paraskevi Church in Malakasa (Greece), organized by his spiritual child Father Daniel Gouvalis and directed by his spiritual child also, the psaltria (chanter) Anthi Markatsela.
In this choir, Nektaria Karantzi, the founder of the Worldwide Association of "Women in Byzantine Music" made her first steps in byzantine music, at the age of 8 years old, on the inducement of Saint Porphyrios, who was her Spiritual Father.
In her first recordings of chanting, Nektaria accompanied Saint Porphyrios the Kavsokalyvite, with his blessing, encouragement, inducement and blessings, she commenced her studies in Byzantine Music at a very early age.