Guests – Municipal chamber orchestra “Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod”

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“Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod” is one of the leading chamber orchestras of modern Russia.

Founded in 1990 and based on Chamber orchestra of Glinka Niznhy Novgorod State Conservatoire that was founded in 1981, the collective existed during many years thanks to the support of the city progressive intellectuals and the enthusiasm of its participants. The status of municipal was granted to the orchestra by the city in 1994.

The professional career of the collective connected to the name of the Honored artist of Russia, professor Sofiya Propischan who had been leading the orchestra since 1990 to 2003 (during this period it had another title – Ensemble of soloists “Sofiya”). Under her leadership, the orchestra became popular in Nizhny Novgorod and is famous far beyond the Volga capital. Since the end of 1990-s, the orchestra tours actively and performs with its own projects, regularly participates in the largest festivals and forums in Nizhny Novgorod.

Since 2003 its leader is the violinist of the orchestra Vladimir Plaksin, who was a student of Semyon Yaroshevich, the founder of chamber orchestra of conservatoire. Dmitry Stoyanov was invited as the concertmaster. The orchestra became known as “Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod”. Close cooperation with the legendary musician Igor Zhukov determined the course of the newest history of the orchestra. Together, the musicians played dozens of programs, performed at international festivals in Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl and Moscow. An important place in the work of “Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod” for ten years was occupied by work with Christoph Mayer (Germany), embodied in a series of projects “Historical Performing Practices”.

Today the orchestra is actively interested in contemporary music, annually performing Russian and international premieres, including pieces written specifically for “Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod”.

Last important tendencies of “Soloists” are focused on long-term cooperation with Daniil Grishin, who since 2015 has been performing with the orchestra not only as a soloist but also as the main guest conductor. Each joint concert (including outside of Nizhny Novgorod) is a cultural sensation and a new evolutionary stage.

Also, the orchestra successfully collaborated with another famous Nizhny Novgorod, universal musician and popular conductor of the younger generation – Maxim Yemelyanychev. In September 2017 the French record company Aparté recorded the first joint disc of musicians (the tenth in the orchestra’s discography).

On average, the orchestra gives more than 60 concerts per season, performs with top international soloists. Performing level of the orchestra allows representing the world collection of chamber music with grace. Specialists note the ability of the orchestra to quickly master a wide range of music, without belittling its merits.

Vladimir Plaksin
Art director of Municipal chamber orchestra “Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod”.
Vladimir was born in Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod). He started his musical education in Children’s music school #8 in violin class of V. Savinov, then he continued his education in Gorky musical college (class of Y. Lakeyev). In 1993 he graduated from violin class of Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatoire (class of professor S. Yaroshevich, Y. Glukhovsky, then class of professor S. Propischan). He worked in parallel at Academic symphonic orchestra of Nizhny Novgorod Philharmony. He is a participant of the chamber orchestra since 1994. Since 2003 he is the art director of the collective.

Participants – Youth capella “Harmony” (Gatchina, Russia)

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Youth Capella “Harmony” was founded in 1982 by Irina Roganova. Nowadays it is a Gatchina city choir, one of the best choirs in Leningrad Region, well known in St. Petersburg and Russia. Amateurs aged 15 to 40 years sing in the choir. The collective travels a lot around Russia and Europe, takes part in various festivals and competitions. Youth Capella “Harmony” has repeatedly received prizes and diplomas of laureates in prestigious choral competitions. Among the latest achievements of the choir, there are gold medals at World Choir Games in Sochi (2016), gold and silver medals received at «Nations Grand Prix-2017» in Riga, the laureate diploma of the first and second degree in the choral competition “Silver Bells” in Daugavpils in 2017 and others. In the repertoire of the choir, there are pieces of various styles and directions: Russian sacred music, foreign classics, a lot of modern music, folklore.

Eugene Ivanov
Art director and conductor of Youth Capella “Harmony”.
Graduate of Sivukhin Nizhny Novgorod Choral College in the class of Ivan Stolnikov. In 2017 he graduated from Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory in the class of choral conducting of Professor Sergey Smirnov. Eugene continued his further education with the head of Academic Choir Department of Faculty of Arts Sergey Ekimov in the magistracy of St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture. Laureate of All-Russian competitions. Since February 2018, he became the conductor of Youth Capella “Harmony”.

Chamber Choir of Volga State University of Technology (Yoshkar-Ola, Russia)

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Chamber Choir of Volga State University of Technology (Yoshkar-Ola)

The choir’s birthday is celebrated on January 30, 1999, when a vocal ensemble appeared on the basis of the students’ club of Volga State University of Technology (VSUT), which soon evolved into the chamber choir. Nowadays the choir performs at all university holidays, solemn events, at the Republican festival “Choral Spring” (“Khorovaya vesna”). Along with classics, spiritual pieces, arrangements of Russian folk songs, the collective performs music of Finno-Ugrian composers. The choir is well known in the singing society of the Mari Republic.

Chamber Choir of VSUT is a collective of different ages, teachers, students, graduates sing in it, the main thing that unites them is not just a consumer love for music, but a readiness to create it, to learn it, to work up to the seventh sweat. The real foundation of the collective is the male choir group, it is not only a stable part of the collective that is working at rehearsals, but also a brilliant artistic union. Each participant of the choir has a special zest, a student of Faculty of Informatics and Computer Engineering D. Smyshlyaev – a wonderful, virtuosic guitarist, students L. Semenov and M. Mityukova are a creative poetic union, O. Tymbayeva writes poems and songs in her native language, a whole group of bards is engaged in the choir. Already well-known ensemble “Watercolor” (“Akvarel”) and the duet “Natural oxygen” (“Naturalniy kislorod”) were founded in the choir.

Such a non-standard situation leads to non-standard concerts forms in which genres and styles are mixed. Chamber choir of VSUT performs at concerts dedicated to university’s birthdays, honoring the jubilees, days of university’s graduates’ meetings, the choir performed twice in Evseyev museum (“Night at museum”, 2012, 2013). Singers of the collective took part in opera performances on the stage of Eric Sapaev Opera and Ballet Theater (P. Tchaikovsky “Eugene Onegin”, “Queen of Spades” (“Pikovaya dama”), N. Rimsky-Korsakov “The Tsar’s Bride” 2010-2012). Chamber choir of VSUT is a welcome guest at the festival of author’s music on Lake Yalchik, where it successfully performs every year.

Traditionally, the choir takes part in the city festival “Choral Spring” (“Khorovaya vesna”) annually. In 2002, Chamber Choir became a laureate of a republican choral music competition. The choir took part in International choir festival “Young Voices” twice, in 2004 and 2008.

In 2015, the choir became a laureate of the I degree in VII International TV Festival-Competition “Constellation-2015” (“Sozvezdiye”, Cheboksary). In November 2017 it became a laureate of the II degree in II All-Russian choral festival-contest “On the Volga expanses” (“Na volzhskikh prostorakh”), held in Cheboksary.

Oksana Nekhaeva

Art director and conductor of Chamber Choir of VSUT.

Oksana has been working at Volga State University of Technologies for 17 years. She has a higher musical and pedagogical education, graduated from Samara State Pedagogical University (Faculty of Arts) with honours.

She is very active in choral art propaganda. Oksana has honorary letters of the mayor of the city of Yoshkar-Ola, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education.

Oksana leads an active scientific and methodical work, is the author of the UMK on Music; actively participates in scientific and methodical conferences, sharing her experience, conducting workshops, open lessons at All-Russian level.

Participants – Youth choir “Vozrozhdenie” /”Revival”/ (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

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The youth choir “Revival” was founded by Sergey Smirnov in 1999 from graduates of the choral studio “Kamerton” (“Tuning fork”) of Chkalov Palace of Children’s (Youth) Art and students of educational musical institutions and various universities of Nizhny Novgorod.
The collective is a constant participant of festivals and choral cathedrals taking place in Nizhny Novgorod. The choir demonstrated its art in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Togliatti, Samara, Rostov on Don, Kirov, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl.
There are more than 100 pieces of Russian and foreign classics in the youth choir’s repertoire, pieces of contemporary authors and folk songs arrangements.
The choir “Vozrozhdenie” is a laureate of international competitions in Moscow (2008), Kazan (2010), St. Petersburg (2011, 2016, 2017), Grand Prix winner of International Choir Competition “Zvuchit Moskva-2017” (“Moscow Sounds”) in “Spiritual Music” and “Academic Choir” nominations.

Sergey Smirnov
Art director and conductor of the youth choir “Vozrozhdenie” (“Revival”).
Sergey is an Honoured Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation, Professor of Choral Conducting Department of Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory, a laureate of International Competitions, art director of the children’s choral studio “Kamerton” (“Tuning fork”) of Chkalov Palace of Children’s (Youth) Art.
He graduated from Gorky Choral Chapel of Boys (1968), Gorky Musical College (1972) and Glinka Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod) State Conservatory (1977). He was awarded “The Best Conductor” diplomas at international competitions.
The creative activity of S. Smirnov is multifaceted. He is the author of a number of choral pieces collections for female, children’s and mixed choirs, the author of folk songs choral arrangements. He is a permanent member of the jury of leading International Choir Competitions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia, leads workshops in conducting and working with a choir, and provides methodological assistance to choir collectives leaders in Russia.

Participants – Mixed choir of Balakirev Nizhny Novgorod Music College (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

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Mixed choir of Balakirev NIznhny Novgorod Music College (NMC) is an active participant in various concert projects and events in Nizhny Novgorod. In the second half of the twentieth century, the choir of the school was conducted by the outstanding choirmasters: A. Shestakov, Honored Artist of Russia, Professor G. Muratov. In the XXI century S. Smirnov, Honored Worker of Culture of Russia, Professor, laureate of international competitions, director of Balakirev NMC in 2006-2012 came to replace G. Muratov. Since 2012 the choir is conducted by R. Zhiganshin.
Laureate of an international competition Academic Choir of Balakirev NMC is a participant of All-Russian Competition of Conductors in Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory (Academy), musical gatherings and concerts in the college, concerts and festivals at various city and regional venues. Among the latest projects with the participation of the choir there are subscriptions “Five out of ten” and “|Music in jeans” of Rostropovich Nizhny Novgorod State Academic Philharmonic, performances of Pushkin Nizhny Novgorod Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, concert programs of Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory, “Remembrance Days of Boris Tevlin” with the participation as a conductor of Boris Tevlin’s student – art director of Sveshnikov State Choir E. Volkov, All-Russian festival-competition “Clear voices” (“Zvonkiye golosa”) and many others.

Renat Zhiganshin
Art director and main conductor of Balakirev Nizhny Novgorod Music College choir.
A graduate of Gorky Choral Capella of Boys, Balakirev Music College. He began his studies at Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory (the class of Professor G. Muratov), in 1996 Renat moved to Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. In 1998 he graduated with honours from Choral Conducting faculty (class of Professor B. Tevlin), and in 2001 he graduated with honours from Opera and Symphony conducting faculty (class of Professor M. Ermler). In 2005 he graduated from the postgraduate course of Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory in symphonic conducting (class of Professor A. Skulsky).
Since December 2000 he worked as a conductor at Tchaikovsky Perm Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. Since February 2001 he is the art director of the chamber orchestra “Allegro” (Perm). Since September 2004 he has been working as the conductor in Academic Symphony Orchestra of Rostropovich Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic. Since 2007 he has been working at Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory.
Currently, he is the art director and main conductor of Pushkin Nizhny Novgorod Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, production symphony orchestra Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory, Academic Choir of Balakirev Nizhny Novgorod Music College.