Alexandrov Ensemble

The history

Created in 1928

A.V. Alexandrov Twice Red-bannered and Red-stared Song and Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army is the academic ensemble of song and dance of the Russian Army named after A.V. Alexandrov - the largest military musical band of Russia, the central cultural institution of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

October 12, 1928 is considered its birthday. On that day, the first concert performance took place in the Central House of the Red Army. Twelve participants were engaged in it: male vocal octet, two dancers, accordionist and reciter.

Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov, an outstanding choirmaster and conductor, composer, professor of the Moscow Conservatory was one of the organizers and first musical director of the ensemble.

A. Alexandrov aim was to create large music and dance collective that combines first-class men's choir, original in its composition, the orchestra and dance group. Thus, a completely new and independent creative genre appeared which had no analogues anywhere in the world. Its activities marked the beginning of the creation and development of a new type of groups – song and dance ensembles, not only in our country but abroad as well.

On February 19, 1933, the Ensemble performed for the first time in the State academic Bolshoi theatre of the USSR in front of country leadership. Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov had a conversation with Joseph Stalin, which predetermined the future of the Ensemble.

In subsequent years, the ensemble grew in quantity (by the end of 1935, it was comprised of 135 singers, musicians and dancers), and cardinal qualitative changes took place as well. In 1935, the Ensemble was awarded with Order of the Red Banner, and the team was named the Red-Banned Ensemble of the Red Army Song and Dance of the USSR. In 1937, the group made its first foreign trip to the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life in Paris. The motto of the exhibition was, "Art and technology in the contemporary life”. The success of the Ensemble exceeded the boldest expectations.

Fifteen concerts in France, thirteen of which took place in Paris, were a real triumph. The Grand Prix was bestowed to the Ensemble for the brilliant concert performance.

During the Great Patriotic War, the Red-Bannered Ensemble performed concerts for the combat army for more than 1,400 times, 742 of them at the forefront. The emotional contribution of the Ensemble to the Victory is invaluable.

In the first war days, A.V. Alexandrov wrote music to V.Lebedev-Kumach verses – the song “The Holy War” appeared. The Red Army soldiers departed to the combat army from the Belorussian Railway terminus accompanied by this song.

On the eve of the New 1944 night, the new National Anthem of the USSR was broadcasted. A. Alexandrov wrote the music, S. Mikhalkov and Gabriel El-Registan wrote the words to it. It was performed by the Red-bannered song and dance Ensemble of the USSR directed by A. Alexandrov.

Alexander Alexandrov had been heading the Ensemble for 18 years. In 1946, his son – composer and conductor B.A. Alexandrov, followed his post. He was at this post until February 1987. The Ensemble was called "the-best-in-class in the military song squadron" due to his activities.

The team was named after its founder on July 10, 1946.

The Ensemble was awarded the Red banner order on February 7, 1949 and its title was changed to “Twice Red-bannered and Red-stared Song and Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army named after A. V. Alexandrov".

In 1979, the team received the highest professional certification – the honorary title of Academic Ensemble.

Many famous composers wrote songs for the Ensemble. They were V. Soloviev-Sedoy, M. Fradkin, A. Novikov, I. Dunaevsky, M. Blanter, brothers Dmitry and Daniil Pokrass, A. Dolukhanyan, B. Mokrousov, T. Khrennikov, A. Pakhmutova and others.

The Ensemble became well known all over the world, it toured in more than seventy countries and everywhere its performances were triumphant.

The choir of the Alexandrov Ensemble is recognized as one of the best male choirs in the world. It combines the harmony and purity of the sound of an academic chapel with vivid emotionality and spontaneity that are inherent to folk performance, it demonstrates high vocal skill. The Ensemble dance group with its sparkling and incendiary performances maintains the heights of choreographic art conquered by the Ensemble. The unique orchestra of Russian folk instruments - domra, balalaika and button accordions are complimenting wooden and brass musical instruments.

Source: http://redarmychorus.mil.ru/Istoriya