Vera Danchenko-Stern, founder of the Russian Chamber Art Society


RCAS’s June 7 gala performance of excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades” with English narration brought “some in the audience to tears, and many to their feet,” wrote Leslie Weisman in DC Metro Theater Arts.

More from Weisman’s review:

"Beginning with the overture, condensed and transcribed for piano, Vera Danchenko-Stern’s dexterous, expansive hands and extended fingers ranged across the keyboard with the musical intensity and orchestral fidelity of the original."

"The first selection was the exquisite “Liza and Polina’s Duet.” Here, [Jennifer Casey] Cabot and [Monika] Krajewska … blended euphoniously, at turns sweetly and lushly, Cabot’s top notes with a diamantine sparkle and clarity. In the next, “Polina’s Romance,” Krajewska’s rich timbre possessed the ebony intensity of a contralto and the bronzed coloration and penetration of a spinto."

"In “Hermann’s Aria,” [Viktor] Antipenko’s heartrending cries of agony at Liza’s indifference ranged from desperately imploring, to shivering, to screaming—yet always, gorgeously golden."

"[Susana] Poretsky owned the “Countess Scene,” in which the old woman, Liza’s grandmother and the holder of the secret Hermann seeks, bitterly bemoans the state of the world today. Her voice cracking, then heavy, then shrill, her Countess doddering on a plain brown cane, Poretsky’s rendition was a minor master class in interpretive singing."

"As his hands assiduously and sympathetically accompanied her voice, [Genadi] Zagor’s eyes did the same with [Poretsky’s] every breath and motion, a fusion of two musicians in tune with and service to their muse."

"Approaching the story’s climactic moment, [Rick] Foucheux read of the fateful wager, his words imbued at once with the casual assurance-cum-indifference, real or feigned, of the bettor and the quiet wisdom of the narrator." 


RCAS takes this opportunity to express its sincere appreciation to all those who shared in the musical and culinary pleasures of its 2017-2018 season at the Embassy of France, concluding with the sparklingly successful “Night at the Gaming Tables” gala on June 7.


  • Have a summer that is both restful and rewarding.
  • Join or renew your membership in RCAS and consider a tax-deductible donation in support of our upcoming season (see below).
  • Save the date for our season-opening American premiere of “Tsvetaeva” on Friday, October 12.


All concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road.

American Premiere: ‘Tsvetaeva’

Friday, October 12

This vocal cycle for mezzo-soprano and baritone in three parts — Poet, Love and Marina — is dedicated to the 125th anniversary, in 2017, of the birth of Marina Tsvetaeva, whose tragic life ended in 1941. Set to her powerful and influential poetry by acclaimed Russian composer Alexander Zhurbin, who will attend the performance, this American premiere will be sung by Magdalena Wor and Timothy Mix, accompanied by pianists Genadi Zagor and Vera Danchenko-Stern, RCAS founder and artistic director. Tickets are $55, including a post-concert reception with the artists. VIP tickets, which also include a champagne reception at 7 p.m., are $85.


Two Poets in Music: Whitman and Pushkin

Thursday, December 6

Works by American and Russian composers will be performed by soprano Shelley Jackson, second-prize winner at the 2017 Maria Callas Grand Prix, baritone Kevin Wetzel and pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern.


Sorrow of Love, Joy of Love

Friday, February 15

Songs by Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Kazakh and Russian composers will be performed by tenor Timur Bekbosunov, mezzo-soprano Monika Krajewska and pianist Genadi Zagor.


The Mighty Five and Friends

Date TBA

Arias and art songs by Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rubinstein will be performed by soprano Zhanna Alkhazova, bass Grigory Soloviov and pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern.


We count on your continuous sponsorship and support of our mission to present this beautiful repertoire rarely heard in North America. Our supporters enjoy different levels of membership, each offering delightful benefits, so please
Won't you join us on June 7? Proceeds from this event will provide essential support for the Russian Chamber Art Society. Though RCAS operates with minimal overhead, ticket sales cover only a portion of the cost of our annual season of unique concerts by outstanding performers. Please help us showcase "Music Without Borders" in the Nation's Capital by attending the June 7 gala.

Your generous contributions make the Russian Chamber Art Society 2017-2018 season possible. Sponsorship is Tax Deductible to the full extent of the law.


Please send your checks to:
The Russian Chamber Art Society
P.O. Box 1772

Annandale, VA 22003

If you prefer to use a credit card, please go to: 

For all inquiries please call us at:

Tel: 703-354-7354