On the 25th of December, 2016, a plane crash off the coast of Sochi killed the majority of the Alexandrov Choir, the most beloved vocal ensemble in Russia.
The tragedy was felt not only in Russia but around the world where for decades the Alexandrov Choir has delighted audiences from China to America, Britain to Finland.
The ill-fated plane was en route to Syria where the choir was due to perform for Russian and Syria troops during the Christmas season.
After the tragedy, the few surviving members of the choir who did not take the flight vowed to rebuild the choir based on the tradition of excellence established by Alexander Alexandrov in 1928, a tradition later carried on by his son Boris.
Last night, the world saw the debut of a renewed Alexandrov Choir, just under two months after the plane crash took the lives of its former members.
As the choir is one of the official ensembles of the Russian Army, Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov welcomed the audience, saying:
“Over a very short term, we did huge work and you’ll see its results tonight…The Alexandrov Choir has always given inspiration to people in the most critical situations. They received applause from spectators in more than seventy countries and I hope the performers will show us today this choir has retained its unique sounding and a powerful emanation of energies.”
“Commitment to serving this country was as important a criterion during the selection of new performers as the perfect artistic merits. I’m confident the new voices will give a powerful impulse to further development of this ensemble and will help build up its tradition.”
It is my hope that the renewed choir continues to give strength, solace, and joy to millions around the world through the power of some of the most stirring music of all time.