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The POKROVSKY ENSEMBLE was founded by prominent musician, scientist, and researcher of Russian tradition culture Dmitri Pokrovsky (1944-1996) in 1973 in Moscow as a “living laboratory” for the study of different Russian folk traditions. Pokrovsky’s goal was to preserve and transmit the vitality that he found in authentic village music to a new generation of performers and audiences. Dmitri was the one of the first musicians in Russia who felt the need to bridge the gap between the old and new musical vocabulary. Following Dmitri Pokrovsky’s untimely death in 1996, his Ensemble continues his work.
From their base in Moscow, the Pokrovsky Ensemble has traveled the length and breadth of rural Russia, documenting and learning to perform the traditions they encountered themselves. To learn the essence of the village music, members of the Ensemble became a part of the village, experiencing the relationships, rituals, life, and music of the villagers. The Pokrovsky Ensemble brings the authentic folklore of Russia back to life.
The Pokrovsky Ensemble has grown to encompass more than 1000 songs, including village songs, dances and pagan rituals, medieval Russian village music, religious folk music, and classic and modern works.
The Pokrovsky Ensemble united Russia’s national cultural traditions with contemporary musical culture, applying the principles and technology of traditional singing to modern music. The vocal school created by the Pokrovsky Ensemble is absolutely unique. Each composer’s piece for the ensemble is a part of a traditional musical culture, style, and genre.
It is difficult to find another collective of singers that can conquer the audience with their original interpretation of classic and avant-garde musical compositions, having a large repertoire of Russian village music of different traditions and styles.
The variety of the Ensemble’s interests is seen in their constant collaboration with contemporary composers, theatrical directors, and filmmakers. The Ensemble has performed at BAM, Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera, Vienna, Tokyo, Cologne, the Berlin Philharmonie, and the London Barbican.
The Pokrovsky Ensemble has toured in the United States, Germany, Austria, England, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Israel, Finland, Japan, Italy, and the former USSR. It collaborates with artists and ensembles such as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Avanti! Orchestra, and Paul Winter Consort.
The Ensemble’s recordings include Faces of Russia (Trikont), Wild Field (World Music), Earthbeat (Living Music), Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces (Nonesuch), Night in Galicia (CCn’C Records), Mother Russia (Russia), and Voices of Frozen Land (NBELIVE).
Having introduced western audiences to Russian traditional and modern music, the Pokrovsky Ensemble has become an enduring figure of world music.