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Yurlov State Choir (Choir)

Founded in 1919 as the State Republican A Cappella Chorus, The Yurlov State Chorus is one of the oldest and most respected choral ensembles in Russia. The ensemble gained international recognition in 1958, when Professor Alexander A.Yurlov, a People’s Artist of Russia, became its Artistic Director. Yurlov aspired to extend the range and repertoire of the chorus, as well as ground its performances on the centuries-old Russian choral tradition: pure and harmonious sound, huge sound range, and passionate interpretation.

During his 15-years as Artistic Director, Yurlov helped to bring many neglected Russian choral masterpieces of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries to an international audience; in recognition to his invaluable contribution, the ensemble assumed his name.

The Yurlov Chorus is noted for its performance of ancient Russian Orthodox chants, as well as Baroque and Classical choral polyphony by such native composers as Diletsky, Titov, Kalashnikov, Vedel, Beresovsky, and Bortnyansky—and particularly those working during the reign of Peter the Great (r. 1672-1726). The Yurlov Chorus was instrumental in reviving the lost treasures of Russian choral music tradition, and restoring them to the mainstream of Russian culture.

In 1981, the direction of the ensemble was passed to People’s Artist of Russia, Professor Stanislav Gusev. A graduate from the Moscow Conservatory, Gusev worked as a choral conductor with the Bolshoi Theater for ten years prior to joining the Yurlov Chorus.

Although the ensemble’s core repertoire remains the Russian spiritual music of the 16th-18th centuries, it also performs vocal and symphonic compositions by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Mozart, Verdi, Berlioz, Liszt, Mahler, Schubert, Dvorak, and Britten, among many others. The ensemble has performed throughout Russia, and has made concert tours to Poland, Bulgaria, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Greece, Austria, and elsewhere. In 1992, the Chorus participated in the prestigious Virtuosos of the World Festival in France.

The Yurlov Chorus has recorded more than twenty CDs, six of which have won international awards.

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