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THE WINNER OF THE AWARD OF THE LENINGRAD KOMSOMOL OF 1975.

             THE WINNER OF THE FIRST AWARD OF ARMY COMPETITION OF SONG AND DANCING ENSEMBLES OF THE SOVIET ARMY AND NAVY FLEET. MOSCOW 1983.

THE WINNER OF THE XII WORLD FESTIVAL OF YOUTH AND STUDENTS IN PYONGYANG 1989.

THE WINNER OF FESTIVAL OF THE NATIONS. HANOVER 1996, 2001.

SILVER MEDAL OF WORLD COMPETITION OF FOLKLORE COLLECTIVES. DIJON 2001.

 

Song and dancing Ensemble of an award of Lenin of the Leningrad militarydistrict – is one of the oldest creative collectives of Russian Army.

In search of new subjects and new forms of service of listeners, on December 18th in 1929, an Ensemble of Red Army songs has been established. It consisted of 10 persons. From the first days of its existence, young creative collective began the active propagandists of soviet army songs.

There were 6 singers, 2 dancers, button accordion player, and reader. Krupitskiy, Mavrokardatov, Mulkov, Galitch, Kremyen - they were the first actors and began the glorious history of  Ensemble. During the Ensemble formation years (1929-30), its heads (directors) were B. Nahutin, A. Vladimirtsev, A. Anisimov. 

In its programs, collective used literary-musical installations on the topics from the heroic history of  Red Army: "The first Konnaya”, "10 days near Kastorna”, "Fighting days”. All installations were created on a basis of careful analysis of documents and conversations with event participants. Songs of  D. Pokrass and A. Davidenko and poems of  B. Liharev and V. Azarov became well-known. But already at the first stages of work, ideologically-art imperfection used in Ensemble of forms of installation was found out, and subsequently the collective has refused it. The leading place in programs was occupied with songs. 

Since autumn of 1935 begins fast growth of the Ensemble. It replenished with the best representatives of Red army art of Leningrad.

By the end of 1936 there were already 65 singers, dancers and musicians. The ensemble became fighting art unit of our glorious Red Army, and its soldiers and officers became the main listeners and spectators. Since the first years of existence by the songs and dances it helped our army to strengthen defensibility of the country. Wide concert activity of collective, its cheerful sanguineous art already in pre-war years have conquered the deserved popularity. The Far North and Baltic, Kareliya and district garrisons enthusiastically met arrival of this interesting collective. With a great success have passed performances in Tallinn in 1940. 

For the first years of work the Ensemble sounded many national songs and songs of the Soviet composers. Already in 1938-40, the Ensemble of Red Army songs and dancings of the Leningrad military district became original creative laboratory of the Soviet song, especially army repertoire. Many good songs have been created because of direct communication of composers with collective. At that time such composers as M.Blanter, D.Pokrass, V.Soloviev-Sedoy, G.Sviridov closely co-operated with Ensemble. Many of their songs have become popular, and firstly have sounded at Ensemble concerts. 

The collective gave concerts not only in garrison armies: actors of Ensemble served soldiers of frontier districts, in severe conditions of frosty winter 1939-40. More than 90 concerts have been given for the military units of Red Army battling on Karelian isthmus. On snow-covered wood roads the senior ensemble leaders I.Rudenko and L.Maslenikov conducted a creative collective of Ensemble to fighters of a first line. Soldiers warmly met the performances of  button accordion players (Solopakh, and Anisnmov), and singers (N.Belov, V.Puchkov, N.Titov, A.Sheikin, N.Barmatov and others). 

The big work the Ensemble has made in days of the Great Patriotic War, all the 900 days of blockade, being in the forefront together with defenders of Leningrad. On June, 25th, 1941, on the fourth day of war, Ensemble of the Red Army song and dancing has begun work on service of soldiers of front and workers of a city in the conditions of wartime. Actors - soldiers performed in military units and in hospitals, in dugouts and in children's homes of the besieged city, before fighters of a national home guard and before defenders of Gangut. Neva Dubrovka, life Road, the ships of the Baltic fleet, Oranienbaumsky base – there were the concert platforms of Ensemble those terrible years. 

By the end of November 1941, in Leningrad there were only three artistic collectives which haven’t been evacuated and continued their concert activity. The Ensemble was one of them. The fighting art, bright optimism, a personal example of firmness of courage actors – soldiers tried to install in hearts of  Leningrad people belief in a victory, improved patriotic spirit of city defenders. During the terrible days of spring of 1942 - in hunger, in a cold, in blockade — in streets of Leningrad there were the posters inviting people on a philharmonic concerts (and it was in the besieged city!), three concerts from this cycle were performed in drama theatre of A.S.Pushkin by songs and dancings Ensemble. Those years all actors of collective up to the end with honour have executed their military, civil and a professional duty before the Native land. 

In days of the Great Patriotic War the Ensemble collective in terrible conditions of a blockade city even for one day did not stop its creative activity. It has given over 2000 concerts for defenders of Leningrad and more than 1100 concerts have taken place on the front line. In besieged Leningrad, actors of Ensemble - singers V.Kolomensky and I.Kovalenko, trumpeters P.Medvedev and A.Agafonov, the dancer V.Sazonov were lost because of hunger. For the fruitful creative work and personal courage shown at the front, 15 persons from Ensemble structure have been awarded fighting government awards. By an award "the Red Star” have been awarded: the head leader of Ensemble P.Marinchik, the senior art director A.Anisimov, ballet master B.Vajnonen, narrator V.Togatov, the soloist of chorus M. Dovenman. 10 persons have been awarded by a medal "For services in battle". 

After the end of war, in a peace creative conditions, the collective continued the honourable business, – serving the military units of the Soviet Army. With a great success passed Ensemble concerts for armies of the Moscow district (1955), Karpatskiy districts (1958), and Baltic district (1963). Considerably extended the geography of tours of collective. The Leningrad Ensemble was warmly accepted by spectators of Ukraine and Transcaucasia, Siberia and Baltic. With a great success Ensemble performances have passed in Tallinn in 1950. Spectators highly appreciated art of collective in Moscow where the Ensemble repeatedly participated in responsible concerts in the Columned hall of the House of the unions and in the Concert hall of P.I.Chajkovskiy. The same years close cooperation of collective with the Leningrad television is established. In 1955 the first telecast was published which told about life, creativity and the concert program of Ensemble of a song and dancing of the Leningrad military district. 

During the post-war period (1945-60) Ensemble collective, cooperating with many well-known composers of the country, has created variety of new interesting songs and the dancings, which reflected heroism of our people and Armed forces in days of the Great Patriotic War. During this period such composers as I.Dunaevsky, G.Sviridov, I.Dzerzhinsky and G.Nosov, and many others worked in direct contact with Ensemble. 

But especially strong creative relations these years were with  V.P.Soloviev-Sedoy. Choral parts of his song  "Evening on a spot-check" are carefully stored in the Ensemble museum. The musical text is written on sheets of grayish brown paper, which were accurately ruled by hand (in 1943 actors could not find a factory musical paper in a blockade city!). In severe years of war the Ensemble was one of the first collectives, who have studied this song, which became one of the most favourite between the Soviet people. Throughout almost 25 years Vasiliy Pavlovich often met actors of Ensemble who always, with a special creativeness, performed his new compositions. "My favourite Ensemble, my coauthors, my creative workshop!" - so warmly composer defined character of the long-term friendship with collective.

 "In peace years as in military days"- at new higher level Ensemble continued the fighting work on cultural-esthetic education of army and fleet soldiers. At that time in collective programs there were literary-musical compositions, for example "Episodes of a fighting way of the Soviet Army". Young actors, young creative directors came to ensemble: in 1949 V.Vasilkov became the ballet master; in 1954 N.Kunaev became the chorus master. New qualitative growth of professional level of choral collective and dancing group is connected with their arrival. V.Vasilkov's talent, as the director of dances has brightly revealed.

"In a leisure-time", "Russian dance", "Friendship"-dance in his arrangements have quickly won love and gratitude of the army spectators and have entered into repertoires of other Ensembles of the Soviet Army. "Soldier's dance" directed by Moguikov has got a great success. Spectators also warmly met the performance of soloists A.Kostromitin and V.Kalinnikov, V.Beljaev and K.Pomazuev. 

During the 1960-70 period, the collective reached new creative heights, opened new possibilities of genre of army art, became one of the leading creative collectives of the Soviet Army. Collective programs brightly reflected revolutionary and fighting traditions of the people of our Native land. Professional level of actors of Ensemble was growing. Talent of  N. Kunaev as chorus master has brightly revealed and in 1968 he became the art director of collective. Under its management the Ensemble chorus became the highly professional performing collective, capable to solve any creative problems. With a great success passed performances of soloists of chorus (N.Ryzhov, Ju. Kolganov, B.Kilin and U.Horkov, N.Pokitailov and others). Works of dancing group are various on a genre and interesting: "The Ukrainian dance", "Sabre dance" with A.Hachaturjan's music; and also "The Kazakh dance", soldier's dance "The Cheerful accordion player", "The Cuban dance ".  Spectators warmly accepted the performance of soloists-dancers G. and A.Kiselev, M.Horjakov, V.Jigach. Also participated such people as A.Kondakov, and A.Mogujkov, A.Tukalov and N.Zuikov, M.Godenko and others. Those years the Ensemble created a bright singing-choreographic composition "Soldiers of Leningrad district". 

The Ensemble has shown its high level of Leningrad art during the successful tours in Moscow in 1962. Collective performed in the Kremlin palace of Councils and on the largest places of capital. Performances were translated on TV. 

Adequately and at high level, Ensemble of a song and dancing of the Leningrad military district represented its art abroad. In 1963 the Ensemble has made two-month tour across Cuba. The Cuban press enthusiastically responded about its performances: "Russian have subdued Cuba with their art". 

Also great success an Ensemble has got during its tours in Austria in 1965, where 18 concerts have been given. In this country the Ensemble has been named by "world famous". Newspapers articles responded: "Brilliants of Russian song-dancing art", "The storm of delight from performances of Ensemble from Leningrad" and others. It helps to understand the creative level of collective.

In 1967 the Ensemble has made the tour to Finland where in eight largest cities has given 23 concerts in the overflowed halls with an applause of spectators. 

In 70-th years there is a further creative growth of collective. Ensemble successfully masters new forms and means of art performance, indefatigably searches for not yet opened potential possibilities of the genre. The recognition and gratitude of the spectators have received the vokal-choreographic compositions created at this time, such as "Friendship of the people" ,"Russia’s true sons", dances directed by V.Vasilkov: "At a village fence ", "Korobeyniki", "Zimushka", "Subboteja", soldier's dance "Two stroya". Bright art of soloists-dancers – (V.Zhigach, J.Bykov, O.Prohorenkov, O.Sokolov, A.Kostromiten, V.Prokofiev, T.Shapchits, E.Kartashova) always has got a success. Grateful reaction of public was always caused by performances of soloists of chorus: V.Vasilev, A.Belov, V.Furin, A.Petrosjan, E.Soloviev, B.Zhbanov, A.Kemeni, O.Ostapchuk, V.Kartunen, A.Markin. 

The Ensemble collective successfully represents the art abroad the Native land. In 1971, 75, 78 there were tours to the Finland, which have passed with a great success. "Art of the Leningrad Ensemble is a friendship-bridge between our people!" - such estimation to collective art was given by the president of Finland U.K.Kekkonen. In 1977 there was a tour to France, which brought a new success to Ensemble. The Parisian press, estimating performances of army actors, wrote those days: "It is delightful! Perfectly well! Other words are not present!". 

In 1974 the Ensemble became the winner of the award of the Leningrad Komsomol - "For the reached successes in literature and art development". 

In 80th years the further qualitative perfection of collective continues. Its professional level rises on new height. Ensemble has brought the appreciable contribution to development of our army art. 

 Heart of repertoire is Russian folk art, military-patriotic songs, domestic choreography and foreign classics. In Ensemble performances there were many songs which first time have been sounded and then became popular! Well-known composers and poets also participated in collective work. Old tradition of collective is active propagation of creativity of the Leningrad authors. Compositions of A.Petrov, V.Basner, U.Zaritskiy, V.Gavrilin, O.Hromushin, I.Tsvetkov, A.Kolker, V.Pleshaka and other masters of a song, have considerably expanded a palette of performing possibilities of Ensemble. And composer J.Dubravin not only actively cooperates with Ensemble as the author, but he is also a member of art council of collective.

 The high-principled character, deep feeling of patriotism, professional art skills were marked in performances of collective of Ensemble during foreign tours in Finland (1981), and Sweden (1985). Actors of Ensemble adequately represent song and a choreographic art of Leningrad during the performances on concert platforms in cities and in villages of our Native land. Successfully have passed tours in Siberia and in Ural Mountains in 1981. In 1980 the Ensemble has participated in preparation and carrying out of Olympic actions in Leningrad, and in 1982 has received the best mark at festival of a patriotic song "Red carnation" in Ivanovo. 

Quickly and effective the ensemble responds to the major events in a life of our country and Army. Three times (in 1982, 1984, 1986) the concert brigade of Ensemble went to Afghanistan, where in hard fighting conditions actors have given in total about 50 concerts for soldiers-internationalists. Twice the concert brigade performed in Chernobyl (1986-1987) for experts and soldiers participating in liquidation of consequences of failure on the atomic power station, there have been given about 20 concerts. 

Ensemble also has made two trips to the Chechen Republic. In 1980 the Leningrad TV (director A.Belinskiy) has finished making a film about art and creativity of Ensemble: "About friends-companions", in 1984 - a television movie-concert "Leningrad and the Victory" (a vocal cycle: J.Dubravin's music, words of V.Suslov).In 1983 the Leningrad sound recording studio has published the sound-plate of Ensemble "Over Russia the sky is dark blue". It was devoted to creativity of V.P. Solovev-Sedoy.

Also those years was proceeded the cooperation of collective with the Central TV, association "Screen" and with All-Union radio. 

In 1987 joint performances of Ensemble with the well-known French singer M. Mate during her tours in Leningrad successfully have passed. And also the Ensemble has made triumphal tour across France. 

But among varied forms of the ensemble concert activity, it firstly served armies of district. There were concerts for staff of Armed forces and in Officers Clubs, clubs, in outdoor conditions, in hospitals, on induction stations. The Ensemble performed also for civil people in cities and in villages of Leningrad military district: in Palaces and Recreation centers, in concert halls, at stadiums. The most different spectators come to concerts: military men, members of their families, workers of fields, workers of factories, invocatory youth and students. The ensemble performs with concerts on solemn celebratory actions in Leningrad and in other cities, at meetings of veterans, and takes constant part in the big summary concerts. 

Major landmark in the history of collective became 1983. The Ensemble participated in review - competition of regular Ensembles of a song and dancing of the Soviet Army and Navy fleet in Moscow. Preparing for competition, the collective fruitfully worked over creation of new concert programs and compositions of heroic-patriotic character, devoted to the Native land, and labor feats of our people, soldiers of army and fleet. 

In the Ensemble program the worthy place was occupied with products of Russian and foreign choral classics, and compositions for chorus without support.

The important place in the program is devoted to the choreography. The ballet group has got in the repertoire more than fifteen big dancing numbers, with deep sense and great skill. 

At high professional level there is a creative skill of actors of the orchestra. It successfully solves all problems of art performance together with chorus and ballet group.

During the competition, the ensemble has shown the workmanship based on a creative maturity, high professional readiness of its heads, and skills of actors. The ensemble of a song and dancing of an award of Lenin of Leningrad military district has won the first place and has received a rank of the Winner. 

In 1989 - Ensemble became the Winner of 13th World festival of youth and students in Pyongyang (Democratic People's Republic of Korea). From 1991 till 1994 the collective went on tour in 38 cities of Germany. 

In 1997 - 2008 the Ensemble of a song and dancing of the Leningrad Military District annually went on tour across Spain, Italy and Denmark, Belgium and Holland. Each concert hall blew up with applause of 2000-5000 spectators. Concert performances on Canary Islands, in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Valencia, Zaragosa, Bilbao, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Parma, Hague, Amsterdam have conquered hearts of spectators. 

In 2001 two-month tours in France have passed which ended with participation of collective in the International competition of folklore in the city of Dijon. There were collectives from 32 countries. The ensemble has taken the second place and has been awarded by silver medal. The French press wrote: "Virtuosity of dancers, magnificence of man's chorus, fascinating acrobatics. Ensemble of a song and dancing of Russian Army from St.-Petersburg is one of the best classical, folklore ensembles of Russia. Almost all Russian folklore classics has been shown at a concert, including unforgettable «Kalinka», whom the Ensemble has finished the representation". 

In a year of its 75-th anniversary, the Ensemble of a song and dancing of Leningrad military district has held a solo concert on the main scene of a city – in  the big concert hall "October", where has shown true skills, professionalism and uncontrollable eagerness to work. Well-known actors - Igor Korneljuk, Maxim Leonidov and ensemble "Singing guitars"  have congratulated the Ensemble. They expressed warm gratitude to Ensemble for development of so necessary genre, as separate art at such high level, as Ensemble of a song and dancing of the Leningrad military district does. 

In different years the government of our state highly appreciates the merits of actors of Ensemble. Today in collective many National Actors of Russia work: the professor, the main conductor and chorus master E.F.Kazanovskiy, the soloist of chorus A.I.Tsymbal; honored artists of Russia: the main ballet master V.F.Matveev, soloists of an orchestra A.S.Zykov, B.V.Sokol, ballet dancers B.I.Mihailov; deserved the art worker of Russia: the chief and the art director of Ensemble, - the lieutenant colonel V. V.Tkachenko, the chief manager of Ensemble A.A.Serdjuk, narrator A.I.Nikolashin, honored artists of Kareliya: suit manager O.J.Vainonen; the honored artist of republic Buryatiya S.K.Bazarsadaev, the deserved actress of republic Dagestan E.A.Pelipenko. 

For its big creative life the Ensemble has brought up a large quantity of well- known people. There are only some of them: M.Vaziev is the director of ballet of the Maryinsky Theater; A.Steblenko is the soloist of the Maryinsky Theater; V.Tsvetkov is the soloist of the Maryinsky Theater; K. Rassohin is the leader of an orchestra of the Maryinsky Theater; B.Eifman is the art director of Theatre of Ballet of SPb; K.Bojarchikov - the main ballet master of Small Opera theater in SPb; V.Ponkratov is the soloist of Small Opera theater of SPb; E.Shanin is the soloist of the Bolshoi theater, A.Korolev is the soloist in Lenconcert; the National actor V.Strzhelchik; A.Sonin is the main director of circus in SPb; variety actors M.Leonidov and N.Fomenko: N.Kornev is the founder and the head of Chamber chorus of SPb, the art director and the main conductor of the State symphonic orchestra of SPb; A.Titov is the conductor of the St.-Petersburg philharmony, V.Ziva - since 1997 is the main conductor of the Moscow symphonic orchestra, and since 2002 is the art director of the Krasnodar musical theater; A.Kiselyov is the dean of vocal faculty of SPb conservatory; V.Begletsov is the art director and the conductor of chorus of boys of Choral school; V.Altshuller is the conductor of the St.-Petersburg philharmony; N.Alekseev is the conductor of  SPb philharmony; V.Borisov is the main chorus master of the Maryinsky and Bolshoy theaters, A.Chernov is the main chorus master of Opera and ballet in the Musorgskiy theater and other well-known people. 

In 2004 the Ensemble participated in XII-th International festival «the Slavic market in Vitebsk» where was highly appreciated. Ensemble participated in concerts devoted to the 300-th anniversary of St.-Petersburg, 65-th anniversary of raising of a blockade of Leningrad, 65-th anniversary of the Great Victory, and in June 2007 at the date of Russia took part in festival-marathon "Song of Russia" in Moscow.

In the 2009 the Ensemble has given more than 230 concerts. It was participation in the anniversary celebrations devoted to 65-th anniversary of full raising of a blockade of Leningrad, participation in parade of armies of the St.-Petersburg garrison. Concert brigades have performed in 56 military units of district ( in Vyborg, Luga, Pskov, and Kamenka, in Sertolovo,  Pechinga, Island-town, Agalatovo, Khvoiniy, Strugi Red, Kandalaksha and Arkhangelsk). 10 concerts were in military-educational institutions, 11 in medical institutions and 11 in military-medical establishments.

On 1st. November, 2009 the Ensemble has celebrated the 80-th anniversary from the date of establishment by the great solo concert in city concert hall "October". We were congratulated by: administration of St.-Petersburg, Legislative Assembly of St.-Petersburg, Regional charitable association of public associations «Big she-bear». With ensemble have performed Elena Vaenga, the National actor of Russia Jacob Dubravin, the National actor of Russia Edward Hill, the Honored artist of Russia Nikolay Fomenko, the Honored worker of arts of Russia Igor Korneljuk, the winner of the international competitions Larissa Lusta. 

From 5-th December till 10-th January 2010, the Ensemble was on tours across Europe. During this period, there were 32 concerts which were visited by more than sixty thousand spectators. All performances have passed at the overflowed halls with the big creative potential. The Ensemble represents its art on the world famous scenes, such as: a philharmony in Barcelona (Spain), a philharmony in Porto (Portugal), concert hall in Rome, concert hall of national television RIA (Italy), etc. 100 actors participated in a trip, and 75 of them were employees of ensemble and 25 were invited musicians, with whom Ensemble is cooperating for a long time. 

In august 2010 the Ensemble with solo program participated in open ceremony XIII-th International festival of  Russian culture in Cannes (France), where is represented Saint-Petersburg. 

Nowadays the Ensemble of a song and dancing of the Leningrad Military District has got one of the best cultural-rehearsal centers of Russia; a total area is 1070 m. sq. The center is the professional workshop, located on the territory of the Semenovsky parade-ground, in a building of former military - automobile school at own Its Imperial Majesty the first railway regiment, built in 1916. The ensemble has got the Concert hall "Semenovsky", fine ballet hall, choral and orchestral studios, artistic rehearsal classes.

And as always the primary goal of Ensemble is a cultural service of the garrisons and military units of the Leningrad military district and Saint-Petersburg garrison, and also performances for inhabitants and visitors of the one of the most beautiful cities of Russia, - Saint-Petersburg.

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