A A
RSS

State Conservatories and Music Schools in Russia Welcome Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman

Fri, Dec 4, 2015

Life Together, News, Russia, Witness

In Moscow, Rev. Dr. Ahlman poses with Altar Server Efim Romanenko and Pastor Dmitry Lovov of Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church. Dr. Ahlman preached the sermon here on November 15, and then enjoyed time getting to know the congregation after the service.

In Moscow, Rev. Dr. Ahlman poses with Altar Server Efim Romanenko and Pastor Dmitry Lotov of Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church. Dr. Ahlman preached the sermon here on November 15, and then enjoyed time getting to know the congregation after the service.

–By Elizabeth Ahlman

Rev. Dr. Christopher Ahlman, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) Career Missionary, serves in part as area music program coordinator. In this role, Rev. Ahlman travels on a regular basis to Russia to work with LCMS sister church bodies there. From November 12-19, 2015, Rev. Ahlman traveled to Moscow and Saratov, Russia to work with The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) to proclaim the Gospel through sacred music. Two congregations of the ELCIR welcomed Dr. Ahlman into their midst, as well as using their contacts with local music schools to set up lectures, recitals and master classes with students.

Students of the Gnessin Secondary Music School pose with Dr. Ahlman after a Master Class for organists in which they discussed performance practice. The Gnessin Secondary Music School is located in Moscow, Russia.

Students of the Gnessin Secondary Music School pose with Dr. Ahlman after a Master Class for organists in which they discussed performance practice. The Gnessin Secondary Music School is located in Moscow, Russia.

The ELCIR has a history of using sacred music as a form of outreach. Composers such as Bach are well-known musically, but not much is known of their faith and the Gospel they proclaimed through their music. This creates unique opportunities for sharing the Gospel through music, lectures on that music and its composers, and even master classes for university organ students.

During this trip, Rev. Dr. Ahlman began in Moscow where he performed a recital featuring the works of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, which is enjoying a 300th anniversary year, at Gnessin College of Music on November 13. Parishioners of the ELCIR’s Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church were able to attend this concert, which they helped to organize, along with students, faculty and other interested people. Dr. Ahlman played pieces from the Orgelbüchlein such as “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” (BWV 639) paired with a reading from Luke 6:36-42 and “Alle menschen müssen sterben (BWV 643) paired with a reading from Revelation 21:3-7, among other pieces from that collection. Additionally, he played other Bach compositions such as the Fantasia et Fuga in g, (BWV 542).

Dr. Ahlman at the organ at the Gnessin Secondary Music School in Moscow in November 2015. He played a few sample pieces for the students of the Master Class he led there.

Dr. Ahlman at the organ at the Gnessin Secondary Music School in Moscow in November 2015. He played a recital there and also led a Master Class.

He also worked with students at the Gnessin Secondary Music School to offer a Master Class for organists of late high school age. The Secondary Music School is a preparatory school for the Gnessin Music Conservatory. Dr. Ahlman was received very well by students and staff. The students were always attentive to the performance advice, as well as the spiritual impulse of supplementary comments.

A student asks questions of Dr. Ahlman during the Master Class at Gnessin Secondary Music School in Moscow in November 2015.

The Public Relations specialist for the Gnessin Secondary Music School asks questions of Dr. Ahlman during the Master Class at Gnessin Secondary Music School in Moscow in November 2015.

After a free day with sight-seeing and sermon preparation, Rev. Dr. Ahlman was the guest preacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church (with the help of translator Aleksei Zubtsov) on Sunday, November 15. After the service, Dr. Ahlman enjoyed tea, coffee and snacks with the parishioners. During this time, he explained his role, answered questions and enjoyed visiting with these brothers and sisters in Christ.

Dr. Ahlman enjoying tea time after the Divine Service in which he preached on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church. The church's pastor, Rev. Dmitry Lovov sits next to Dr. Ahlman.

Dr. Ahlman enjoying tea time after the Divine Service in which he preached on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church. The church’s pastor, Rev. Dmitry Lotov sits next to Dr. Ahlman.

Dr. Ahlman and Mr. Zubtsov then traveled to Saratov, Russia to visit an ELCIR congregation there. St. John’s Lutheran in Saratov is a congregation which receives support from the LCMS for its work of proclaiming the Gospel to its community under the direction of Pastors Olav Panchu and Alexander Furs, as well as their Deacon Sergei Anikin. In Saratov on the 16th, the church’s sanctuary was packed with parishioners, governmental officials from Saratov, music students from the local Sobinov State Conservatory and other interested members of the community. The large crowd spilled out into folding chairs set up in the hallway leading into the sanctuary. Between Orgelbüchlein pieces played by Dr. Ahlman, translator Aleksei Zubtsov read corresponding Scriptural passages for each chorale.

Dr. Ahlman plays his recital in St. John's Lutheran Church, Saratov, with the help of a student from the conservatory to turn pages, and translation by Aleksei Zubtsov (seated next to the organ) in November 2015. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs.

Dr. Ahlman plays his recital in St. John’s Lutheran Church, Saratov, with the help of a student from the conservatory to turn pages, and translation by Aleksei Zubtsov (seated next to the organ) in November 2015. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs.

A packed sanctuary in Saratov meant that more interested listeners had to be seated in the hallway outside the sanctuary to hear Dr. Ahlman's recital there on Monday, November 16, 2015. It was very well received by listeners, including several members of the local government's Public Relations Committee, who noted on the governmental page the strong presence of interested young people. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

A packed sanctuary in Saratov meant that more interested listeners had to be seated in the hallway outside the sanctuary to hear Dr. Ahlman’s recital there on Monday, November 16, 2015. It was very well received by listeners, including several members of the local government’s Public Relations Committee, who noted on the governmental page the strong presence of interested young people. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

Following the performance, Dr. Ahlman spoke with attendees and answered many questions. Of the attendees and his conversations, Dr. Ahlman said the following: “The Lord Jesus certainly associated with the lowly, but He also died for the elite. They deserve the Gospel just as much as anyone, and they also respond just like anyone else. By the working of the Holy Spirit, these very things occurred on my latest trip. I give thanks to God that I can serve as His instrument in this special way, and I pray for His continued work in the hearts and minds of these people.”

From left: Deacon Sergei Anikin, Rev. Olav Panchu, Dr. Ahlman, Rev. Alexander Furs and translator Aleksei Zubtsov after the recital at St. John's Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia November 16, 2015. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

From left: Deacon Sergei Anikin, Rev. Olav Panchu, Dr. Ahlman, Rev. Alexander Furs and translator Aleksei Zubtsov after the recital at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia November 16, 2015. Photo Courtesy of Rev. Alexander Furs

The following day, the congregation of St. John’s had helped to arrange an opportunity for Dr. Ahlman to teach a Master Class for organ students at the Sobinov State Conservatory, the third most prestigious music school in Russia.

A student from the Sobinov State Conservatory plays her piece for Dr. Ahlman during a Master Class there on November 17, 2015. Dr. Ahlman was able to speak about music and the Gospel with the students as they perfected their performance practice.

A student from the Sobinov State Conservatory plays her piece for Dr. Ahlman during a Master Class there on November 17, 2015. Dr. Ahlman was able to speak about music and the Gospel with the students as they perfected their performance practice.

At the conservatory, he worked with the young organists on pieces they had brought to play through, and took time after class to answer questions, as well as sign a poster from his Saratov recital.

The organ professor of the Sobinov State Conservatory, along with the students of her organ studio, pose together with Dr. Ahlman after the Master Class on November 17, 2015.

The organ professor of the Sobinov State Conservatory, along with the students of her organ studio, pose together with Dr. Ahlman after the Master Class on November 17, 2015.

Rev. Ahlman then returned to Moscow, where he lectured on Bach’s Orgelbüchlein at the International Organ Symposium hosted by the Gnessin Conservatory of Music on November 18, one of the top two conservatories in all of Russia. Dr. Ahlman lectured concerning Bach’s confession of the Christian faith in the compositional material of the early works of the Orgelbüchlein. Dr. Ahlman looks forward to returning to Russia to work with the ELCIR again in the near future.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

 

Archives

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.