The Zeeuws Byzantijns Koor Srétenieje from Vlissingen (Flushing), the Netherlands, was formed in September 1996 by 70 enthusiastic people. The choir, currently consisting of 50 members, is mixed and is directed by Mrs. Emilia Tabachnik-Li. The Russian word “Srétenieje” means “Meeting” and the choir embodies the meeting of two cultures, those of Russia and the Netherlands.
Mrs. Emilia Tabachnik-Li, Russian by birth, is the musical director of the choir. She studied song and choir conduction at the famous Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg. She also worked as song pedagogue and was a member of the renowned Saint Petersburg Chamber Choir. Her knowledge of and passion for Russian music are a source of inspiration to members of the choir.
The second conductor, mrs. Elena Berdnikova, also has great knowledge of Russian music.
The repertoire consists mainly of Byzantine church music. For example, liturgical music and songs by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Bortnjansky and Chesnokov, who composed music and songs for the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. The repertoire also includes Russian and Ukrainian folk music and songs.
Solo parts are sung by members of the choir, all of whom, are amateurs. Soloists, and vocal groups, receive extra coaching from the conductor, with attention being paid to voice production, technique, and performance. Regular rehearsals are held every week.
Since Srétenieje was founded, the choir has given successful concerts in Zeeland and other provinces of the Netherlands. Through the years the choir visited a lot of countries. Concerts were given in Bunde (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), St. Petersburg (Russia), Kiev (Ukrainian), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Paris (France).
The choir produced so far 3 CDs, partly in studio setting, partly recordings of live concerts.
In 2012 the choir organized in Flushing a big Russian Festival, 10 groups from all parts of the Netherlands conducted to this festival. The closing concert is recorded on DVD.