An unforgetable spiritual atmosphere has been conjured by the Saint Ephrem Male Choir and their UNESCO-awarded guest artist, Marta Sebestyen on 15 April, 2012. The concert was held in the St. Stephen’s Basilica as part of the “Oriantale Lumen” (Light of the Oriental) Concert Series and it presented many byzantine-rite music treasures such as the mystical Cherub hymn by Nikola, the Serb, contemporary compositions from Laszlo Sary, Romuald Twardowski, and Lesya Dichko, and melodies from Glinka and Tchaikovsky (just to mention a few). The audince were simply charmed; they rewarded the performers with an unending burst of applause.
The Saint Ephrem Male Choir celebrates their 10th anniversary with a grandiose concert series from 19 December, 2011 to 3 June, 2012, featuring more well-known Hungarian artists as guests. Their repertoire primarily covers the choral music of the Eastern Orthodox Church. All corresponding concert dates are assigned to orthodox high festivals (based on the julian calendar).
The choir was founded in 2002 by Tamas Bubno, a Hungarian church musician and conductor. After collecting religious melodies in the Subcarpathian area, he decided to gather some of his friends – all professional singers working with the best choirs in Budapest – and former students. The choir started to participate regularly in Byzantine liturgical services, mostly in Greek Catholic Churches in Budapest and other Hungarian cities. The ensemble took its name Saint Ephrem, the Syrian (307-378), who was the first great Byzantine hymnographer, called “The Harp of the Holy Ghost” by his contemporaries.