The Alexandrov Ensemble, the official choir of the Russian Armed Forces, has earned a place in the music pantheon thanks to an immensely rich and varied repertoire that includes more than 2,000 numbers – from Soviet and folk songs, to famous rock ballads, including Freddie Mercury’s greatest hits.
The ensemble is the brainchild of Maj. General Alexander Alexandrov, a professor from the Moscow Conservatory, who led the troupe for 18 years after setting it up in 1928.
All members of the Alexandrov Ensemble choir, except for three lead vocalists, were on board the Tu-154 plane that crashed shortly after take-off in Sochi, Vadim Ananiev, a lead vocalist from the choir, told TASS.
Ananyev’s wife recently gave birth to their third child. He asked for permission to miss one concert to help his wife take care of their newborn child.
Relatives, as well as artists, are flocking to the building in the heart of Moscow, where the ensemble worked, to pay their last tributes. They are all in shock, Komsomolskaya Pravda reports.