Batishcheva, Valentina


Valentina Alekseevna Batishcheva - Soviet jazz singer. She performed with jazz orchestras in the cinema theaters’ lobbies and in the largest restaurant "Moscow". Bain the capital. Batishcheva was the performer of the song “Katyusha” in the Palace of the Unions, with the orchestra conducted by Victor Knushevitsky in November 1938

According to the memoirs of Matvey Blanter: “When a young girl appeared on the scene sang the song, the hall was moaning with applause. The audience did not let the singer go; she sang “encore” this song three times.

Valentina was born in the family of the famous harmonist-inventor A. G. Tulsky-Batishchev. He demonstrated a concert spot “L'homme orchestre”. He played the musical instrument “Batishton” that he invented. It was comprised of a harmonica, an accompanying piano and three violins.

He created a small harmonica for his twelve-year old daughter. She participated in family concerts playing it. When she was studying in school, the girl took part in the amateur concerts. In the 20’s she participated in Moscow Music Hall performances in the program of the American illusionist Kefalo and Rina Zelyonaya.

After her father’s death, Valentina had to work in the office of the chancery. Hence, taking into consideration the girl’s talent, her mother brought Valentina to a famous accompanist who gave singing lessons to Lidia Ruslanova. She was destined to become a singer. She started performing soon and received the invitation to work in the theatrical Department of the Central House of Officers of the Red Army. She began touring along the country and in Moscow as well.

In 1938, the twenty-two-year-old singer was invited to the State jazz orchestra directed by Victor Knushevitsky. The art director was Matvey Blanter. He liked the clear and sonorous voice of the singer, and he entrusted her to sing two new songs, one of them was “Katyusha”.

The Palace of the Unions was overcrowded. Valentina came out and started to sing excitedly. When she finished singing the audience burst in big round of applause. She performed “Katyusha” three times more at the audience request. Soon after the concert in Moscow Conservatory, the song was recorded.

During the war, Valentina joined the artistic team that performed at the front line.