The Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing”
Artistic Director — Professor Lev Kontorovich
“The Grand Choir is one of the best choirs in our country. Each encounter with these excellent musicians brings me great joy” – Dmitry Shostakovich, composer.
“The Choir under direction of Lev Kontorovich is amazing, It shows great flexibility, mastership and charm” – Dmitri Hvorostovsky, singer.
“I find the Choir fantastic. The musicians sing in German so perfectly that sometimes I forget I hear the Russian choir singing.” – Helmuth Rilling, conductor.
«To “Masters of Choral Singing”: You are real Masters and it is pleasure to work with a choir of such quality!» — Christoph Eschenbach, conductor.
Grand choir was created in 1928, its founder and the first Artistic Director was a prominent master of choral arts Alexander Sveshnikov. At various times the Choir was led by such great musicians as Nikolai Golovanov, Ivan Kuvykin, Klavdy Ptitsa, and Liudmila Ermakova.
In 2005 Prof. Lev Kontorovich was invited to take up the post of Artistic Director of the Grand Choir which got by the time its new name – “Masters of Choral Singing”. Under Prof. Kontorovich’s leadership, the renewed composition of the choir successfully keeps the traditions established by its predecessors. The Choir’s name «Masters of Choral Singing» determines the professionalism, high level of performance, exceptional efficiency and versatility of the team, where each artist can perform both as a member of the choir and as a soloist.
During 90 years the choir has performed more than 15,000 works of various epochs and genres: operas, oratorios, cantatas by Russian and European composers, a’cappella pieces, folk songs, Russian and European sacred music. Many of them became the «golden fund» of the national sound recording and gained recognition abroad (Grand Prix competition of recordings in Paris, the «Gold Medal» in Valencia). The Grand Choir was the first performer of works by Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitriy Shostakovich, Rodion Shchedrin, Aram Khachaturian, Otar Taktakishvili, Vladislav Agafonnikov, Yury Evgrafov and other prominent Russian composers.
At various times such outstanding conductors, singers and musicians as Evgeny Svetlanov, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Dmitry Kitaenko, Vladimir Fedoseev, Helmuth Rilling, Michel Plasson, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Alberto Zedda, Ennio Morricone, Vladimir Jurowski, Mikhail Pletnev, Christoph Eschenbach, Elena Obraztsova, Irina Arkhipova, Nikolai Gedda, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Aanna Netrebko, Zurab Sotkilava, Evgeny Nesterenko, Roberto Alanya, Angela Gheorghiu, Vasily Ladyuk and many others have worked with the Choir.
The Grand Choir has enthusiastic welcome at the best stages in Russia, Italy, France, Germany, Israel, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea, Republica de Costa Rica, Qatar, Indonesia and other countries.