Dr Alexander Lingas of Cappella Romana Completes Semester as Artist in Residence


The Institute of Sacred Arts (ISA) at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) hosted Dr Alexander Lingas as Artist in Residence for the Spring 2023 semester. Dr Lingas is a distinguished church musician, choral director, scholar, and teacher. Music director and founder of the celebrated vocal ensemble Cappella Romana, he is also a Professor Emeritus of Music at City, University of London, and a Research Fellow of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge (UK). 

This is far from the first time Dr Lingas has been welcomed at St Vladimir’s Seminary; he first came to campus as a doctoral student in 1990, taking classes in Patristics and Liturgical Theology with Fr John Meyendorff and Paul Meyendorff as part of his Ph.D. coursework. Over the last few decades, Dr Lingas has been a regular guest lecturer and conference participant at the Seminary, but was “very pleased to be invited to stay for a longer period for the first time since 1990, to have the entire term on campus as an artist in residence.”

Article-Image-1-Byzantine Inheritance

Highlights of Dr Lingas’ semester at SVOTS included The Byzantine Inheritance, a special performance given on February 17, 2023 by Cappella Romana, sponsored in part by the ISA; a Byzantine chant master-class with student chorale members, taught by Cappella Romana members and prominent church musicians John Michael Boyer and Photini Robinson; an advanced course titled Sacred Arts 441: Text, Sound, and Meaning in Byzantine Liturgy; an interview on the Luminous podcast with ISA founding director and SVOTS Professor of Systematic Theology, Dr Peter Bouteneff; and a lecture on the development of Orthodox liturgical music throughout history presented at the final faculty seminar of the academic year.


Seminarians who took Sacred Arts 441 came away with a deep appreciation for the historical development of liturgical music. Dn Tesfay Rezene (Th.M. ’23) commented,

“Dr Alexander Lingas taught a truly fascinating course, designed to have students experience the lives of the ancient Church community, a community that was full of thanksgiving, praise, and worship. Dr Lingas guided us through the various stages of the Church's liturgical music, sound, and meaning of the texts.” 

Another student, Fr Stephen Guirguis (M.Div. ‘25) noted Dr Lingas’ masterful cultivation of the teacher-student relationship, including, “the way he presents the material in class, the way he listens to the students, the way he understands rightly what was inside the students and helps them to express it fittingly, and the way he runs the discussion and answers questions.”

Article-Image-3-Lenten Concert

Dr Lingas participated actively in community life at St Vladimir’s Seminary, singing in the choir for chapel services, lending his voice to the student chorale for the Lenten concert, and meeting with students from the M.A. concentration in Sacred Arts program to discuss liturgical music and answer questions. He also made several high-profile appearances in New York and abroad during the semester, most notably at the Coronation of King Charles III on May 6, 2023, where he led the Byzantine Chant Ensemble in chanting verses from Psalm 72 during the ceremony.


Following the 2023 Commencement ceremony on May 20, 2023, Dr Lingas will conclude his residency at St Vladimir’s Seminary. To receive further updates on Dr Lingas’ work and learn about his upcoming performances with Cappella Romana, visit cappellaromana.org.