National Academic Folk Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus named after I.Zhinovich is the oldest musical collective in Belarus. It was established in 1930. At the origins of the organization and creative activity of the orchestra were outstanding musicians Dmitry Zakhar and Iosif Zhinovich.
National Academic Folk Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus named after I.Zhinovich laid the foundation for the development of professional musical performing art on folk instruments in our country. Its history is inextricably connected with the revival of Belarusian ‘tsymbaly’ (dulcimer), which is rightly called the instrumental voice of Belarus. The orchestra's repertoire includes more than two thousand compositions. These are arrangements of Belarusian folk songs and dances, original compositions of Belarusian composers, Russian and foreign classics, music of contemporary composers, popular music. Famous singers performed with the orchestra — People's artists of the USSR А.Eisen, А.Vedernikov, B.Minzhilkiev, А.Solovianenko, V.Noreika, Т.Nizhnikova, Z.Babiy, B.Shtokolov, S.Danylyuk, I.Bogacheva, V.Piavko, J.Kobzon and other opera and pop stars.
Since 1975 the orchestra has been under leadership of Mikhail Kozinets, an outstanding musician and conductor, a winner of the State prize of the Republic of Belarus and prize «For spiritual revival», a professor, the Knight of the order of Friendship of nations and the order of Frantsysk Skaryna, the People's artist of Belarus. Significant events in the orchestra's recent history are associated with his name. During 2010-2013, under his leadership, the collective realized four large-scale performances to the music of Belarusian composers: Igor Luchenko, Vladimir Mulyavin and Larisa Simakovich. The premiere of the poem-legend “Minstrel”, rock-оpera “Song about the destiny”, musical “Apocrypha” and rondo-opera “Lucian Tapolya” based on the works of literature by Yankа Kupala, Maksim Bogdanovich and Maksim Tank became the national events and received wide public reaction. In 2016 the National Academic Folk Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus named after I. Zhinovich was nominated for the State prize of the Republic of Belarus for the performance of these major musical and dramatic compositions combined in a tetralogy.
Among the bright concert programs of recent years take pride place author's concerts of composers Igor Luchenok, Arno Babajanian, a solo concert of Petr Elfimov “Unforgettable” to the 50th anniversary of the ensemble “Pesnyary”, art-project «Three tenors», annual concert series «Cinema music », «Concert to the birthday of Vladimir Mulyavin», “Constellation of talents”, «Back to the USSR», representing various genres of instrumental, vocal and pop music, as well as many other programs. All of them always attract interest of the public and invariably get full house.
The orchestra has given thousands concerts in Belarus and abroad: Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Kiev, Central Asia, Siberia, Ural, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Magadan, was successfully touring in foreign countries as Canada, Turkey, India, Germany, Romania, Сhina, Poland.
Today the orchestra has 22 winners of national and international contests, honored and People's artists of Belarus. It is due to their high performing artistry the collective was awarded the honorary title «Academic» (1987), later – the title «National» (2003).
An Artistic Director and a chief conductor of the orchestra – Mikhail Kozinets
Director - Boris Livshic
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