The Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir
The Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir, one of the country's most famous choirs, has a long and distinguished history. Founded at the turn of the 20th century under the direction of Ivan Yukhov, it had already attained a high level of artistry in the pre-revolutionary period.
An epoch-making event in the Choir's history was the appointment of Alexander Yurlov (1927—1973) as musical director. Under his guidance the Choir rose to the forefront of musical life in Russia during the 1960s, and premièred many works by composers such as Vladimir Ruben and Rodion Shchedrin, while also collaborating with the distinguished Russian composers Dmitri Shostakovich and Georgy Sviridov. Yurlov was responsible for reviving the unique concert performance traditions of Russian spiritual and liturgical music, which had been strictly forbidden during the Soviet era.
In turn, the talented musicians and choir-directors, Yuri Ukhov and Stanislav Gusev followed on as disciples to Yurlov, doing much to promote the Choir's fame. In 2004 Gennady Dmitryak, one of Russia's leading operatic, choral and symphonic conductors was appointed Music Director of the Yurlov Choir, a post he holds to this day. Today’s Choir unites within it a great diversity of young vocal talent, graduates from the Moscow and other Russian conservatoires. Under Dmitryak's leadership the Choir is in great demand as one of the most versatile Russian choirs, equally at home in performance of choral miniatures, extended opera scenes, folk songs, and litigurical works. In the spiritual repertoire the ensemble displays a seamless continuity with the traditions of Russian timbric qualities and musical imagery. The Choir is particularly renowned for its superb interpretations of Dmitri Bortniansky, Maxim Berezovsky, Alexander Grechaninov, Pavel Chesnokov, and Sergei Rachmaninov. Its extended repertoire also includes works from the cantata and oratorio tradition, from Bach's Mass in B minor to more recent works by such composers as Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein and Alfred Schnittke.
The Choir is a regular participant of Russian and International Music Festivals, and over the last five years has given more than 200 concerts abroad and over the length and breadth of the Russian Federation, from Magadan to Kaliningrad. Recently the Yurlov Choir has enjoyed huge success with its concerts in Poland, North Korea, Spain, Greece, the UK, Belarus, Armenia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries. The international press has remarked on the choir's extremely high level of mastery, its artistic excellence, and the power and beauty of its sound.
In the autumn of 2012, Gennady Dmitryak and the Choir inaugurated a new project through the creation of the Sacred Love Festival, supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The second festival was held between October and December 2013 with enormous success. Today the Yurlov Choir has reintroduced in the world of Russian choral music the concept of unity. Thus it often joins forces in concerts with some of the country's best professional and amateur choirs, as well as with student and children's choirs. The Choir has also performed with such leading ensembles as the Svetlanov Russian State Academic Orchestra, the Russia National Orchestra, the Russian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Moscow, and has worked with such renowned conductors as Kurt Sanderling, Teodor Currentzis, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, and Dmitri Jurovski.