The oldest choral collective of the Republic of Belarus, the State Academic Choir named after its creator, Grigory Romanovich SHIRMA, is a genuine keeper and propagandist of the value of folk music, creations of modern composers, masterpieces of the world classical music.
The collective was organized in 1940 in Belostok, its first program was prepared in 1941. Now the staff of the Choir consists of gifted musicians who serve selflessly to the Great Art.
The artistic side of the Choir is distinguished by the high musical culture, vivid emotionality, richness of the dynamical scale of sounding, high feeling of ensemble, purity of intonation, expression and naturality of singing and its organicity with the word.
The collective has merited a high praise from the side of both critics and audience. "The gentleness and beauty of the sounding voices, purity of intonation and spirituality in the interpretation of the musical material appear very subtly", V.S.Fomin, the principal conductor of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Society, wrote. "The Choir has made us glad by impeccable pitch and harmony, variety and flexibility of dynamics; as well as by clear and expressive diction", it was the reference given by V.Chernushenko, Rector of the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, Principal Conductor of the Saint-Petersburg Choir named after M.Glinka. The collective received a high appraisal from G.Sviridov after performances at the Festival of Choral Music in the Large Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
The geography of the Choir"s tours for the last years is an evidence of increasing popularity of the collective. These tours included musical festivals in Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Holland, Denmark, France, Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg; participation in the cultural program of the Olympic Games 1992 in Barcelona in the Theatre de Liceo. In 1993 the Choir became a laureate of the International Festival of Church Music in Hainowka (Poland).
The range of the Choir"s repertoire is wide and various. It includes requiems by G.Verdi, W.A.Mozart, R.Schuman, L.Cherubini, A.Bruckner, I.Brams, A.Dvorak, J.Haidn, G.Berlioz, X.Buenguerell, D.Kabalevsky; masses by I.S.Bach, A.Bruckner, W.A.Mozart, J.Haidn, L.Beethoven, G.Puchinni; oratorios by D.Shostakovich, P.Chaikovsky, S.Prokofyev, "Messiah" by G.Gendel, "Symphony N 9" by L.Beethoven, "Psalm Symphony" by I.Stravinsky, Mass-Symphony by F.Mendelsone, "Symphony N 13" by D.Shostakovich, cantatas by I.S.Bach, "Carmina Burana" by K.Orf, "Seasons of the Year" by J.Haidn, "Alexandre Nevsky" and "Ivan the Terrible" by S.Prokofyev, "Ioann Damassky" by S.Taneyev, "Moscow" by P.Chaikovsky, spiritual pieces by G.Verdi, A.Bruckner, A.Dvorak, P.Pergolese, S.Moniushko, A.Shenberg; choir pieces from operas by G.Verdi, R.Vagner, A.Borodin, G.Puchinni, K.Weber, P.Mascanyi, V.Bellini; fragments from musicals by G.Gershvin, R.Rodgers, G.Kern; choral masterpieces by S.Rakhmaninov, P.Chaikovsky, P.Chesnokov, S.Taneyev, D.Bortnyansky, P.Beresovsky, A.Arkhangelsky, choral music of Belarusian composers.
Exceptional capacity of the Choir for work allows to prepare annually 5 or 6 completed concert programs including the compositions a capella and of cantata oratorical genre. Recently several interesting projects have been fulfilled: in December, 1999, the "Messiah" by G.Gendel was performed in Spain, In September, 2000, the oratoria "Apokalipsis" by the modern Russian composer O.Yanchenko was sung in Italy, the spiritual works of the modern Belarusian composers were presented at the Festival "The Days of Music of Krakov"s Composers" in Poland in June, 2001.
Wide repertoire and high mastery allows the Choir to give concerts with various symphony orchestras, such as orchestras of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Belgorod, Kharkov, Donetsk, Kiev, Volgograd, Vilnius, Irkutsk Philharmonic Societies, orchestras of Gerliz and Cotbus Musical Theatres (Germany), orchestra of Zelena Gura Philharmonic Society (Poland).
Many famous conductors stood at the conductor"s stand of the Choir. They are Yu.Efimov, M.Jansons, T.Mynbayev, L.Kremer, R.Seechafer, D.Ponelle (Germany), Cz,Grabowsky (Poland), V.Katayev, V.Dubrovsky, S.Sondeckis, Ju.Domarkas, Yu.Tsiryuk, O.Yanchenko, A.Dmitriev, A.Anissimov.
Since 1987 the principal conductor of the collective is Lyudmila Yefimova, a re[presentative of the Saint-Petersburg choral school. It is due to her spirituality, subtly feeling of form and style, compromiseless service to the Music, there appeared bright, non-traditionally treated pieces in the concert programs of the Choir, new creative potential of every singer has opened.
For the high creative achievements Lyudmila Yefimova has more than once got State rewards, and in 2000 she was given the honorable title "The People"s Artist of the Republic of Belarus".
The People"s Artist of the Republic of Belarus Liudmila B. Yefimova is a graduate of Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg) State Conservatory. For 22 years she worked as a teacher in Minsk musical college, where she founded mixed chamber choir. Under her supervision the choir quickly grew over the level of a students" collective and began a wide and intensive concert activities, which got high reviews of critics and warm acceptance among the auditorium.
No wonder, that in 1987 Liudmila Yefimova was invited to head The Belarusian State Academic Choir Capella on the request of the artists of this collective. That period was very difficult for the choir capella, in fact, it occurred to be in a critical situation. And precisely under L.Yefimova"s guidance the crisis was overcome, and the Capella became a universal choir collective with unique sound and vast repertoire.
Musical critics in many countries all over the world used to call Liudmila Yefimova "The head of the best choir in the world", "an Iron Lady", who "plays the choir as if a musical instrument". She "creates an artistic image with her strong fingers, and from the very beginning it is clear that she is a very strong personality". Even her peculiar technique of conducting attracts much attention: "Yefimova"s horizontal jester with fingers widely spread and then firmly squeezed resembled a pianist, who can extract a wide range of nuances only with light movements."
Mrs. Yefimova possesses a deep studying of the repertoire, detailed working on freedom and light of sound, flexibility of fraise and perfection of intonation. The bright talent, wide erudition, the high level of the artistic culture, devotion to the creative work led her to the honorable name – The People"s Artist of the Republic of Belarus, which Liudmila Yefimova got in 2000. She is one of the most outstanding persons in the sphere of musical culture in Belarus and outside the country.Director- Alexander Chumakov +375 29 658 70 73
+375 17 231 56 85