Now celebrating its 40th season (read full ensemble history here), Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe. Dedicated to developing new audiences for music rooted in Balkan, Slavic, and Caucasian women’s vocal traditions, Kitka also strives to expand ...
Celebrating its 40th season!
Wintersongs is Kitka's critically-acclaimed and wildly popular winter program showcasing music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. For countless centuries, people around the world have utilized the power or community singing to infuse warmth, cheer, spirituality, wishes for peace, health, and good fortune into the long, dark, cold and difficult winter season. Eastern Europe's geographic position as a crossroads between Europe and the Orient has produced an astonishingly rich and varied array of seasonal musical rituals.
Kitka's program features songs ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols; to lush meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works; to Baltic pagan incantations for the return of the Sun Goddess, to Caucasus Georgian Alilos (hallelujahs); to Yiddish, Sephardic, and Hebrew songs for Chanukah; to Bosnian-Muslim sevdahlinke (songs to the beloved).
Traditional pieces will be woven together with new folk song arrangements and original compositions by Kitka members and contemporary American and Eastern European composers, all inspired by the customs, beauty, and mystery of wintertime.
"A refreshing spin on traditional seasonal choral music…thoroughly marvelous!" - NPR
"The stellar Eastern European women's vocal ensemble brings a contemporary sensibility to centuries-old vocal traditions. With occasional dissonance, the group's lush chorales can be hauntingly exotic one moment, sublimely beautiful the next." - Washington Post
"Holiness that is earthy, exotic. This is the vocal power of the women of Kitka, a mesmerizing ensemble. Kitka taps into something primal and dramatic. Ancient ritual songs, Bulgarian hymns sung in Old Church Slavic, and Romanian folk songs are voiced in dynamic tension and release-rising from delicate stillness to riveting chordal explosions of the human voice." - Sacramento News and Review