The male choir of the Optina Pustyn Monastery Department in St. Petersburg was established in 1996 by the blessing of it's Father Superior, Hieromonach Rostislav. The choir consists of professional singers who graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. The main goal in forming the choir was the cultivation of the heritage of the old Russian Church singing, it's sources and different styles, the study of the different types of early Russian polyphony and the introduction of them into modern Church practices. In order to achieve authenticity in transcribing the various types of ancient Russian scriptures the choir members are in contact with scientists researching medieval patterns of Russian singing. The repertoire of the choir, however, reaches beyond the purely ancient repertoire and represents the great riches and variety of the Russian clerical as well as secular choral art. Apart from recording they maintain a busy schedule of concerts in Russia and abroad.