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Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir

Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir, Russia


The history of the Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir, one of the oldest Russian choral ensembles, has been started on Jan. 1-1919, when the Ivan Ukhov's choir, founded in 1900 and socialized in 1918, has been reorganized in the «First State Choir».

In 1925 the «First State Choir» was renamed in the «Glinka' State Choir». Under this name the ensemble participated in the symphony concerts, performed on radio and being known by public at large. It has been entrusted to post-synch the first Soviet movies, in all more than 70 films, including famous «Cheery Guys», «The Circus», «We are form the Kroonstad», «Volga-Volga».

In 1942 the «Republican Russian Choral Cappella» was created on the base of the «First State Choir» and it was a landmark in its fortune. During the Second World War it was not evacuated from Moscow and permanently performed in the metropolitan hospitals, supported military units. These years either post-war period were very difficult for the ensemble as after Ivan Ukhov passed away it couldn't find the new musical director and during 1943-1958 A. Stepanov, K. Lebedev and A. Preobrazhensky has served the position by turns.

The turning point in the Cappella's life ensued in 1958, when Alexander Yurlov, 30 years old immensely energetic and extremely talented musician, became its leader.

During fifteen years of direction A. Yurlov has increased the artistic range of choir's options and repertoire as nobody else. The basic repertoire of the Cappella altered. Instead of a folk song it began to perform monumental works - cantatas and oratorios, such as «German Requiem» by Johannes Brahms and «War Requiem» by Benjamin Britten. During this period the choir turned to works of contemporary composers. Throughout 1958 - 1972 years it premiered more than sixty pieces, including the most difficult musical composition by Stravinsky, Schnittke, B. Rubin, Shchedrin, Shostakovich, resumed sung of Russian sacred music XVI - XVIII centuries on the concert scenes. The Cappella's triumphant performances in Paris, London, Rome and other European cities have raised the profile of Russian musical art in the world.
In 1966, for its outstanding achievements in music and performing arts the «Republican Russian Choral Cappella» was awarded the title «academic», and in 1969 she was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor. At the international choir festival in Italy, the ensemble received the highest award - the prize of Rome (1969).

After the sudden death of Yurlov in 1973, the Cappella was named after him. Through the activities of Yurlov's successors, Y. Ukhov and S. Gusev, the choir for many years remained loyal to its traditions and maintained the status as one of the most influential ensembles of the country.

Under the leadership of S. Gusev the team toured throughout Russia and abroad and repeatedly appeared with leading symphony conductors - E. Svetlanov, G. Rozhdestvensky, Y. Temirkanov, V. Fedoseev, V. Gergiev, Y. Simonov, P. Kogan, W. Ashkenazi and other brilliant musicians. During this period the choir was recorded over 20 CDs, six of which won international awards.

In 2004, Gennady Dmitryak the Honored Artist of Russia and Yurlov's disciple has been named the Choir's new Music Director and started to continue his famous predecessor's noble cause.