Conference Speakers

More 2023 Conference speakers coming soon!

David Cannata

David Cannata 

After completing Masters’ Degrees in both piano and conducting at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1980-82), David Butler Cannata, upon John Adams’ urging, pursued doctoral studies in Historical Musicology at NYU (Graduate School of Arts and Science).  His 1992 doctoral dissertation, “Rachmaninoff’s Changing View of Symphonic Structure,” revised the composer’s chronology, explained Rachmaninoff’s compositional process and placed him squarely within the Russian post-Wagnerian musical tradition.  It was subsequently enlarged and published as Rachmaninoff and the Symphony (Biblioteca Musicologica V: Innsbruck, 1999).  As early as 1995, his work in performance and musicology had centered on that rare breed, the executant/composer/ conductor, including Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Wagner, Granados, Piazzolla, and Messiaen, to mention but a few.

His work has been underwritten by the American Musicological Society (AMS-50 Fellow 1991-92), the year he won the Deutscher Musikeditions-Preis, the first award for Praktische Ausgaben for Rachmaninoff, Early Piano Music (Editions Sikorski-Rachmaninoff); the American Philosophical Society; the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX); and in 2005-06, he was elected a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities for his continuing work on Liszt, Intimatio Christi: Liszt’s Musical Contemplations, and his editorial work for Liszt’s Gregorian Diaries 1878 & 1879 (both forthcoming).                  

Over the last 28  years he has taught at Temple University in Philadelphia, and he has now retired from teaching.


Nicholas Cowall

Nicholas Cowall 

Nicholas Cowall is an experienced church musician, music educator, conductor, vocal coach, and vocalist. 

He is one of the leading interpreters and promoters of Russian Choral and Vocal Music in Australia and he has conducted opera, orchestral and choral ensembles both in Australia and overseas.

In the last 25 years Nicholas has been instrumental in presenting over 200 works by Russian composers to Australian concert audiences, including over 50 Australian premieres.  In 2016 he was awarded a medal from the Russian Australian Representative Council for his work in promoting Russian Music in Australia.

Nicholas has directed the Holy Protection Cathedral Choir in Melbourne since 1996, was tonsured a reader by Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla) in 1997 and elevated to the rank of subdeacon by Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) in 2004. Nicholas has worked as a Director of Music in both Catholic and Independent school settings in Melbourne and has completed tertiary music study at Monash University, Melbourne University, the Moscow Conservatoire and the Victorian College of the Arts. 

Nicholas’ post-graduate study has led to research of the Music of Dimitry Bortniansky and The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of the Moscow School of Sacred Choral Composition. During his time in Russia, Nicholas developed his formal approach to conducting church choirs and expanded his understanding of church music from Archimandrite Matthew Mormyl and by singing in the choirs of the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra, St Daniel’s Monastery Moscow and Church of the Joy of All Sorrows on Bolshaya Ordinka. He was also the first person to give a paper on the life and times of Archimandrite Matthew Mormyl (with his blessing) in Moscow (1997).

He is currently a guest chorus master for the Melbourne Symphony Chorus,  the Head of Choral Music at Xavier College in Melbourne, and music director of the professional male choral ensemble Melbourne Cappella.  

Nicholas has also delivered courses in conducting at Monash University and has assisted in preparing choirs for Vladimir Ashkenazy, Oleg Caetani, Simon Halsey, Valery Gergiev, Marcus Stenz and Carlo Ricci. 

As a singer he has appeared as a chorus member and soloist with operatic and choral ensembles including Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Symphony Chorus and the Consort of Melbourne. He has been involved in the organisation of Sacred Singing Conferences in Australia since 1992 and is the longest serving member of the Australian and New Zealand Diocesan Liturgical Music Committee.

Larissa Doohovskoy

Larissa Doohovskoy

Comfortable as both a leader and collaborator, Laryssa Doohovskoy is a sought-after soloist and ensemble member.  Gathering inspiration from experience as a performer both in the United States and abroad, she enjoys dissecting a wide variety of repertoire including art song, opera, musical theatre, commercial music, as well as chamber and choral music. 

A passionate educator and choral director, Laryssa Doohovskoy has over 25 years of experience as a teacher of both children and adults. She runs a thriving private studio in Acton, MA, teaches voice at the Middlesex School in Concord, MA, is on the faculty of the Instrumental Music School of Carlisle and Concord, and the Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute (PaTRAM). She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In 2018, Ms. Doohovskoy joined the faculty of the Synodal School of Liturgical Music in Jordanville, NY. In 2018 and 2019 she served as the Director of the Vocal Program for the PaTRAM Institute’s Summer Academy for Singers. She has been invited to give several masterclasses across the United States and has served as an adjudicator for local and national competitions. Her students have successfully auditioned for professional and amateur productions, district festivals, university music, and conservatory programs. She has served as music director for several children’s theater companies in the Greater Boston area including Encore Players and the Popcorn Players. In 2012, Ms. Doohovskoy was appointed Music Director of the St. Xenia Orthodox Church in Methuen, MA, after having served as Associate Director since 2004, where she leads both the adult and children’s choirs.

A longtime resident of the Northeast, Ms. Doohovskoy earned her undergraduate degree from New England Conservatory (BM, Vocal Performance). She continued her studies in South Florida, earning a graduate degree from the University of Miami Frost School of Music (MM, Vocal Performance). While at UM, Ms. Doohovskoy was awarded a Teaching Assistantship and the Provost Scholarship for study in Salzburg, Austria. She has also completed post-graduate study in contemporary vocal pedagogy at Shenandoah Conservatory’s CCM Institute and Boston Conservatory.

Her principal teachers include Esther Jane Hardenbergh, Mark Pearson, Simeon Tregubov, and Susan Fisher Clickner.

Irina du Quenoy

Irina du Quenoy

Dr. Irina du Quenoy’s life in Russian liturgical music began when she was brought as a child by her parents to the choir loft of the San Francisco cathedral (ROCOR), directed at the time by M. S. Konstantinov. She has conducted on the kliros of parishes in Washington, DC, Beirut, Budapest, and Chicago, among others, and is currently the assistant choir director at the St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon parish in Pompano Beach, FL. In addition to singing, reading and conducting, she has also been working on setting liturgical music in English (some of which is currently being sung at the St. John the Baptist cathedral in DC), as well as arranging music for women’s ensembles. Associated with the Synodal School of Liturgical Music since its founding, she currently serves as its Associate Director, as well as being a founding member of the European Liturgical Music Committee (ROCOR) and, since 2022, a member of the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission.

Elias Dubelsten

Elias Dubelsten  is a professional audio producer and engineer, focusing primarily on choral/orchestral recordings and broadcasts. Graduating from Canada’s McGill University, Elias has had the pleasure to work with some of classical music’s top talent, including recently John Rutter, Chanticleer, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Elmer Iseler Singers, Angela Hewitt, The Canadian Brass, Jens Lindemann, the Vienna Piano Trio, the National Youth Choir of Canada, and numerous others. He is also a contributor to various radio and TV specials, and his recordings can regularly be heard on CBC and Rogers.

In addition to his audio duties, Elias also works as a conductor and clinician in both religious and secular settings. He has appeared in various roles with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Choir of St. Andrew and St. Paul, Patram Institute Choir in Jerusalem, Savonlinna Opera Festival Chorus, and other professional and amateur choirs in Canada and abroad. He is currently the music director at the St. Stefan Serbian Orthodox Church in Ottawa, Canada.

Nicholas Ganson

Dr. Nicholas Ganson is a professional historian specializing in modern Russia and the Soviet Union. He earned his MA in History with distinction at Boston College and PhD in History at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Ganson is currently Assistant Professor of History and Co-Director of the Literature and History Program at Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts. He also holds a diploma in Pastoral Theology from the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America (ROCOR), is a subdeacon, and for the last ten years has served as the choir director at Holy Epiphany Russian Orthodox Church in Boston, Massachusetts.  

Ganson’s research and teaching interests cover a vast range of topics, including Soviet social and political history, Russian religious history, the history of Orthodox monasticism, Byzantine history, European intellectual history, and the Russian emigration. His dissertation, which was revised and published as a monograph, entitled The Soviet Famine of 1946-47 in Global and Historical Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), is regarded as the standard English-language account on the Soviet postwar famine and has been widely reviewed and cited by scholars across the globe. Currently, Ganson is working on a project that seeks to bring to light the worldviews of Orthodox priests during the Soviet dissident era (1960s and 1970s). The manuscript, tentatively entitled Bearing the Burdens of the Fallen World: The SovietDissident Era through the Eyes of Moscow’s Orthodox Priests, is slated for completion in 2024. Ganson also recently compiled and co-edited a collection of spiritually edifying quotes, in Russian and English—Grains of Wisdom and Piety from the Reposed Archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (on the 100th Anniversary of Its Founding), published by ROCOR Centenary Publications and distributed by St. Innocent Press. 

Aside from regular professional talks in academic settings, Ganson has given many presentations on historical and Church-related topics for Orthodox audiences, including at the St. Herman’s Youth Conference (“Orthodox Christian Survival in an Atheistic Society: Lessons from the Soviet Past”), St. Vladimir’s Youth Association at the Synod of Bishops (“Monarchy, Modernity, and Mythology from Babylon toByzantium and Beyond”), and the glorification of St. Mardarije of Libertyville (“St. Mardarije’s Russian Context: Major Social, Intellectual, and Ecclesiastical Developments on the Eve of the 1917 Revolution”). 

At the ROCM Conference in Ottawa, Ganson will be drawing on his historical training, church-musical background, and family history to shed light on the life and achievements of Russian émigré choir director and composer Evgeny Ivanovich Evetz (1905-90). Ganson’s great-aunt Elizaveta Semenovna, née Tsybruk, was married to Evgeny Ivanovich and the Evetz story is an integral part of the family’s history. Ganson will draw on this knowledge and other sources to familiarize the conference attendees with Evetz’s labors in preserving the beauty of Russian sacred music in the emigration.

Julia Krukovskaya

Julia Krukovskaya

Graduate of the Minsk Theological College in 2002, choir director, teacher of the Minsk Theological School from 2002 to 2015. During those years I had been teaching solfeggio, music theory, tone singing, liturgical practice; constantly participated in the commission at entrance, control and final exams in all musical and liturgical disciplines at all departments of the Minsk Theological College (daytime, evening, correspondence).

At the same time, I had been conducting two choirs: male (for 15 years) and mixed (12 years). I started my first choir (male) at the age of 17.

From 2015 to the present, I have been the choir director of the Protection of the Holy Virgin memorial church (99 Stonehurst ave, Ottawa). I teach church singing and reading, conducting, and I also teach how to use the voice properly (vocal lessons), including correct breathing and correct singing position.

Vladimir Morosan

Vladimir Morosan

Dr. Vladimir Morosan is one of the leading experts outside Russia in the field of Orthodox liturgical music. He is Founder and President of Musica Russica, a publishing company specializing in the publication and dissemination of Orthodox choral music throughout the Western world. He is also the Director of the “Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library” Project (, the largest online library of Orthodox music. As Founder and Artistic Director of Archangel Voices, a professional-level choral ensemble, he has recorded six CDs of Orthodox liturgical music in English; he is also the composer and editor of numerous choral arrangements. He serves as Project Lead for music editing and online instruction for the Department of Liturgical Music of the Orthodox Church in America. A tonsured reader in the Orthodox Church, he currently serves as Director of Liturgical Singing at St. Katherine Orthodox Mission in Carlsbad, California.


Kurt Sander

Kurt Sander

Kurt Sander’s compositions have been performed in 14 countries on five different continents.  Much of his choral and instrumental work takes its inspiration from the sublime dimensions of the Eastern Orthodox faith and its rich artistic traditions.​
His sacred choral work has been recorded and performed by professional ensembles throughout the world including Cappella Romana, the Kastalsky Choir (RUS), the Cincinnati Camerata, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa (CAN), the St. Romanos Cappella, the Clarion Choir, Archangel Voices, the Patriarch Tikhon Choir, and The Orthodox Singers (RUS) and the PaTRAM Institute Singers.

In 2017, he received a commission by the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute (PaTRAM)  for a new English-language setting of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. This 90-minute work was recorded by the PaTRAM Institute Singers under the direction of Peter Jermihov and  released as a 2 CD set on Reference Recordings label in 2019.  The CD of this work was nominated for a Grammy in 2020 under the “Best Choral Album” category.

Sander was one of five featured composers on the collaborative composition “Heaven and Earth” which was commissioned by the St. John of Damascus Society and recorded in 2021 by the renowned choral ensemble Cappella Romana under the direction of conductor Michael Boyer.  The CD was released on the Cappella Recordings label.

Portions of the Slavonic version of Sander’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom were first performed in Russia by the Kastal’sky Choir under the direction of Peter Jermihov on January 30, 2019. The concert took place in the renowned Rachmaninoff Hall, a 300-seat auditorium housed in the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia. The complete 90-minute Slavonic version was premiered on November 30, 2022 on a concert by the vocal ensemble Canticum Festum under the direction of Lyubov Shangina in Moscow. Shangina recorded the Sander’s Slavonic Liturgy in 2022 with Canticum Festum which is scheduled for release in 2024.

Sander has also acquired notoriety for his chamber and orchestral writing.  He was recently named a finalist in the American Prize for his song cycle “Ella’s Song” about the life of St. Elizabeth, Grand Duchess of Russia.  Other instrumental works have been performed by the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the Brasov Philharmonic (Romania), the Pleven Philharmonic (Bulgaria), the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Synchronia, the Corbett Trio, the Solaris Wind Quintet, and the St. Petersburg Quartet.

​Sander currently serves as Professor of Music Theory and Composition and Music Program Head in the School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University. He holds degrees in composition from Northwestern University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Cleveland State University where he studied with Bain Murray, Alan Stout, Rudolph Bubalo, and Andrew Imbrie.

Sander’s choral music is published through Musica Russica.