Mikko Sidoroff’s composition Panihida (Orthodox memorial service) was finished in the spring of 2003, and with it arose the need to found a new Orthodox choir to give its first performance. The composer put together a competent mixed choir for the challenge and the work received its first performance at the Kuopio Cathedral on May 25th, 2003. The concert generated much public interest as well as praising reviews. Since then, the ensemble became known as the Krysostomos Chamber Choir. The name is taken from the Greek word chrysostomos, which means ”golden mouthed”. In addition, the name of the choir refers to the Archbishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, who was so named for his verbal talent.
The Krysostomos Chamber Choir has established itself as one of Finland’s foremost Orthodox choirs. The choir rehearses during weekend sessions and performs regularly in Finland and abroad, most recently in Serbia in August 2008. The choir is based in Kuopio; however, as the singers come from various parts of Finland, including the capital Helsinki and surroundings, Krysostomos functions as a national organisation.
Mikko Sidoroff’s Panihida has been recorded by the Krysostomos Chamber Choir for the record company Alba Records. The cd was awarded the title of choral music recording of the year 2007 by the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association and the Finnish Amateur Musicians’ Association Sulasol. Krysostomos has also recorded master recordings of Orthodox church music for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Yleisradio. Krysostomos’s recordings have been noted by the press. The choir’s second recording, Gladsome Light, was recorded at the New Valamo monastery in January 2011 and will be released in November 2011. The cd contains sacred music by Johann von Gardner, Virpi Leppänen, Ville Matvejeff and Mikko Sidoroff.
Krysostomos does projects based on original and fresh ideas. The choir takes its responsibility as an instrument for contemporary Orthodox sacred music seriously. Indeed, the conductor Mikko Sidoroff’s compositions are an essential part of Krysostomos’s repertoire. Ville Matvejeff’s work Vaeltajan Laulu, which is a commission by the Krysostomos Chamber Choir, was premiered at the Vaasa Choir Festival in 2009. This collaboration will continue in autumn 2011, when the choir will give the first performance of Matvejeff’s composition Ehtoohymni (Evening Hymn). Mikko Sidoroff has been commissioned to write a new work for the tenth anniversary of the choir’s founding in 2013.