Archpriest Andre Papkov is a founding faculty member and director of SSLM. In addition to heading the School, he teaches the first year level of the Liturgical Performance Practice course, a unique class that he developed to introduce students to the practical issues facing singers and conductors of Russian church choirs, and to address creative solutions to the most unexpected kliros situations.
Father Andre was born in 1951 in Munich, Germany. Arriving in the US in 1956, upon completing his secondary education he entered the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville NY, which he graduated in 1973. The same year he was ordained to the diaconate, in which capacity he served for 28 years, in Nyack, NY (1973-1976), at the San Francisco Cathedral of Joy of All who Sorrow (1976-1982), and at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville (1982-2001). From 1982-1984 he was enrolled in the New England Conservatory as a graduate student majoring in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance, graduating with a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 1984. In 2001 he was elevated to the holy priesthood and was assigned to the Holy Trinity Monastery until 2005, whereupon he was assigned as the Cathedral Dean to Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago/Des Plaines, where he is serving presently.
Father Andre has been extensively involved in the field of Russian Liturgical Music since the 1970s. In the 28 years that he served as a deacon and later protodeacon, Father Andre was recognized throughout the Russian Diaspora and Russia as an exemplary Orthodox bass soloist, recording numerous CDs and working with some of the best Orthodox choirs in the world. In the 1980s, he directed the choir of the Holy Epiphany parish in Roslindale, MA, and was, for several years, the director of the Seminary Choir at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, where he also taught liturgical singing. In 1992, with the blessing of the late Metropolitan Laurus he founded the Summer School of Liturgical Music at Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in Jordanville. He has also been active in the work of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Synodal Liturgical Music Commission for more than twenty years, and is presently serving as its chairman.