Great Music under a Byzantine Dome is the concert ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. It programs a diverse series of concerts and performances every year, featuring performers from the Cathedral Choir and from the New York area, singing music from the sacred Orthodox tradition, the Greek folk and popular traditions, and Western classical and musical theater repertoire.
The Cathedral Music Ministry has a rich history of adding beauty to the Cathedral worship experience, performing the music of composers such as Theodore Bogdanos, Anna Gallos, Alexander Gretchaninov, Dimitrios Pappas, George Raptis, Nancy Takis, Tikey Zes, and many more, in addition to arrangements by the late Maestro Dr. Dino Anagnost, music director of the choir for many years. The renowned Cathedral Choir, formed by a core of music professionals and volunteers, is featured most Sundays at the Archdiocesan Cathedral.
Baritone and conductor Costas Tsourakis is the Artistic Director of Great Music under a Byzantine Dome and a native of Astoria, NY. Opera credits include the title role in Don Giovanni with Theater Rudolstadt, El barbero de Sevilla (Bataglia) with New Camerata Opera, ManonLescaut (Geronte), Carmen (Zuniga), La Battaglia di Legnano (Podesta), Die Fledermaus (Frosch), all with Sarasota Opera, La Cenerentola (Don Magnifico) in Syros, Greece for the Festival of the Aegean, Gianni Schicchi (title role) at the Trentino Music Festival in Italy, Don Carlo (Filippo II) with Vocal Productions NYC, Carmen (Zuniga), Die Fledermaus (Falke) with NY Opera Exchange, La Bohème (Colline), Le Nozze Di Figaro (Don Bartolo), Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro), Gianni Schicchi (Betto) with Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Cosi Fan Tutte (Don Alfonso), Gianni Schicchi (Simone), and Amahl And The Night Visitors (Balthazaar) with Purchase Opera.
Musical theatre credits include Oklahoma! (Jud), Guys and Dolls (Big Jule) and Knickerbocker Holiday (Anthony von Corlear) recorded at Alice Tully Hall and released by Albany Records.
Solo concert credits include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Haydn’s Nelsonmesse, Rheinberger’s Star Of Bethlehem, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Handel’s Messiah. Mr. Tsourakis has performed at the Verbier Music Festival in Verbier, Switzerland, and concerts in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem with the Israeli Philharmonic.
As a conductor, credits include Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and The Centennial Concert: From Byzantium to America at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In addition to his passion for performing, Mr. Tsourakis is a dedicated music educator who regularly teaches young musicians and is the Director of the famed Archdiocesan Cathedral Choir and Youth Choirs of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
Mezzo-soprano and conductor Hilary Baboukis is the Associate Conductor of the Choir at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in NYC and the Administrator of Great Music under a Byzantine Dome and The Georgia Giannakopoulos and Peter Katsoris Kaye Archdiocesan Cathedral Music Library. She collaborates regularly with ensembles across New York and New Jersey, including work with Artefact Ensemble, Big Apple Baroque, Cappella Romana, the Choral Art Society of NJ, Church of the Holy Apostles, Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Masterwork Chorale of New Jersey, Melodia, New York Opera Forum, Ridgewood Gilbert and Sullivan, (slightly) Tipsy Opera, Summit Chorale, The Saint Tikhon Choir, Vocala, and Voices of Ascension. She also collaborates regularly with the Cairo Choral Society and the Lions of Cairo.
Her recent engagements have included Die Fledermaus (Orlofsky), Yeomen of the Guard (Phoebe), Xerxes (title role), and Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian), and appearances as mezzo/alto soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Requiem. Her coming engagements include Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah.
Ms. Baboukis teaches voice at Wagner College of Staten Island, as well as teaching voice and piano privately. She is also an arranger/orchestrator and music engraver for The Georgia Giannakopoulos and Peter Katsoris Kaye Archdiocesan Cathedral Music Library and frequently takes private commissions. She studied at Columbia College (NYC — BA, Music), the American University in Cairo (non-degree), and Oklahoma State University (Stillwater — MM, Vocal Performance and Pedagogy).
The Dino Anagnost Artist-in-Residence
John Baboukis is professor of music at the American University in Cairo. He teaches music theory, musicianship, and music literature, and private lessons in voice, piano, and harpsichord. He also directs the AUC Chamber Singers and coaches chamber music ensembles.
Professor Baboukis is the conductor of the Cairo Choral Society, a community chorus affiliated with the University. Over the past eighteen years, he has conducted them in performances of major works in the Western choral repertory, including J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, Charpentier’s Messe de minuit and Te Deum, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Dvořák’s Mass in D Major, Brahms’s German Requiem and Schicksalslied, and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. He is also the conductor of the Cairo Festival Orchestra, a professional ensemble in residence at AUC.
In addition to accompanying the Cairo Choral Society, the Festival Orchestra presents concerto/aria concerts featuring student and faculty soloists, and concerts of orchestral repertory ranging from concerti grossi of Bach and Handel to Hindemith’s Symphony Mathis der Maler. He is the founder and co-director of the Lions of Cairo, a professional early music ensemble, with whom he is a singer, qanun player, and harpsichordist. The Lions present regular performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Western music, Byzantine chant, and classical Arab music. He is a specialist in the performance of early music, and was the founder and director of the Saint Paul Early Music Ensemble and Les voix médiévales de Montréal. He is also a psaltis, and has served for many years as a chanter in the Orthodox Church.
He has taught conducting and directed numerous choral and early music groups at the College of Saint Catherine (in Saint Paul, Minnesota), McGill University, the University of Georgia, Young Harris College, and Illinois State University.
Professor Baboukis holds a Doctor of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he was the first doctoral student ever permitted to submit an original composition (his Requiem Mass, for chorus, orchestra, and soloists) as a dissertation for a degree in choral conducting. He has written a substantial body of vocal music, as well as chamber works and music for piano, harpsichord, clavichord, and organ. In the past decade, his concerto for bassoon and string orchestra, Three Walks in Zamalek, and his Symphony for Cairo had their premiere performances by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. He is currently composing a Symphony for Alexandria, which will be performed by the Chamber Orchestra of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (the Great Library of Alexandria) in Alexandria and Cairo under his direction in March of 2023.
He has been awarded a McKnight Composition Fellowship, and, in addition to receiving numerous private commissions, has twice won composer commissioning grants from the Jerome Foundation, through the American Composers Forum.
Professor Baboukis is married and has two children.
©2022, Great Music under a Byzantine Dome. All rights reserved.