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  • Children's Choir Vesna
  • Children's Choir Vesna
  • Children's Choir Vesna
  • Children's Choir Vesna
  • Children's Choir Vesna
  • Children's Choir Vesna
  • Children's Choir Vesna
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(13.11.1938 - 16.05.2012)


The founder, the artistic director and the principal conductor of the children’s choir Vesna, Principal of Vesna choir magnet school, Distinguished Artist of Russia (1984), winner of the Moscow Award in the Field of Literature and Arts (1994), winner of the Federal Target Program “Gifted Children” of the Presidential Program “Children of Russia” (2002), recipient of the Order of Friendship (2004).

Born in 1938 in an army officer’s family, he made a decision to commit himself to music after serving in the Army as a field band member. In 1966 he graduated from the College of Music at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and in 1971 – from the Art Institute in Kharkov.

In 1965, still a student, he created a children’s choir that later evolved into Vesna State Magnet Choir School in charge of which he has remained over 40 years.

The passion of the whole life of Alexander Ponomaryov was VESNA children’s choir and a music magnet school that grew out of it.

It all began long ago, in the North District of Moscow, in 1964, when, at the request of the local community, a student of a musical college, who had just finished his Army service, to organize a children’s choir. 31 March 1965 became the birthday of the organization.

In 1966 the group was officially transformed into Vesna children’s choir studio. The children were taught solfeggio, musical literature, the piano. Since that year the choir has been a participant of scores of various concerts and festivals put together by the Composers’ Union and Moscow Philharmonic, collaborating with modern Russian composers of renown.

Since the mid-70-s Vesna has toured Russia extensively. The 10th anniversary of the choir was commemorated with the first recorded LP.

It was then that the uninterrupted friendship and collaboration with the composer Ephrem Podgaits began. He composed, specifically for VESNA, the cantata “How to draw a bird”, the concertos “Four Seasons”, “Missa Veris”, “New York Mass” and other beautiful works. Many of these compositions have been performed abroad and honored with international awards.

The 80-s were filled with hard work and artistic efforts. New music was introduced, new recordings made, new tours made. The trademark of VESNA has always been performance of large pieces of classical and modern music, such as “Gloria” by Vivaldi, “Die sieben Worte” and “Heiligmesse” by Haydn, «Stabat Mater» by Pergolesi, “Magnificat” by Monteverdi, “Missa brevis” and “Ceremony of carols” by Britten and many others.

Alexander Ponomaryov was one of the first among those who, in Soviet times, began unearthing the priceless treasure chest of Russian spiritual music that later was to become a significant part of the choir’s repertoire. Several times VESNA participated in the festivals of Orthodox music in Moscow and in 1996 performed at the festival of Spiritual music in Paris.

Alexander Ponomaryov managed to create a school with unique traditions, a special learning environment and a devoted faculty. The school celebrated its 25th anniversary in a new building that became a true music sanctum, which even contained the dream we always had: our own organ. Due to the effort of Alexander Ponomaryov an instrument by «Alexander Schuke» was given to VESNA.

The peak of VESNA touring and concert activity fell on the 1990-2000-s when the choir has performed an impressive range of music pieces, large and small, from the Renaissance pieces to modern avant garde, concerts with orchestra, organ, grand piano, a capella, secular and spiritual, by Russian and foreign composers. Alexander Ponomaryov created masterful arrangements and adaptations of classical pieces, which later became par of repertoires of other children’s choirs.

At prestigious international competitions VESNA has been getting the highest awards:

Second Prize (Nantes, France, 1991), First prize ( Debrecen, Hungary, 1992 and 2004), First Prize and Grand Prix (Arezzo, Italy, 1992), First Prize (Nantes, France, 1995), First Prize (Tour, France and Arezzo, Italy, 2002), First Prize (Varna,Bulgaria, 2003), First Prize and Grand Prix (Powell River, Canada, 2004), First Prize and Grand Prix (Tolosa, Spain, 1999 and 2006), First Prize and Grand Prix (Nyíregyháza, Hungary, 2010), First Prize and Grand Prix (Malcesine, Italy, 2012).

In 2000 the choir was awarded the highest European choral accolade: Grand Prix Europe 2000 at the so called ‘contest of laureates’ in Tolosa, Spain, where VESNA’s competitors were only adult choirs of international renown.

Under the directorship of Alexander Ponomaryov VESNA recorded 12 LP’s and 10 CD’s, gave over 100 concerts at Moscow Conservatory, toured over 50 cities in Russia and 12 countries in Europe in addition to Canada and Japan.

Every VESNA rehearsal was turned into a wondrous show by Alexander Ponomaryov’s talent, professionalism and educational expertise. Many of the classes were attended by choirmasters from all over the country. Sharing his findings and experience, Director Ponomaryov published a series of professional articles on the subject.

The authority of Director Ponomaryov as choir conductor has been recognized by musicians of Russia and other countries. He was frequently invited to be a member and head of choir competition panels. He was given a special ‘The Best Conductor’ awards in Debrecen, Hungary and Powell River, Canada. His professional activity was encouraged with state awards: Distinguished Artist of Russia (1984), the Moscow Award in the Field of Literature and Arts (1994). He was the winner of the Federal Target Program “Gifted Children” of the Presidential Program “Children of Russia” (2002), and the recipient of the Order of Friendship (2006).

Alexander Ponomaryov created a happy childhood for many people, opened their creative potential and for some showed the way to their career goals. For all people Director Ponomaryov was a prime example of professional dedication and commitment. In spite of a terminal illness he was with the choir till the last day of his life.

Since 2012 the school has carried the name of its creator.

The undertaking of Alexander Ponomaryov is continued by his pupil, VESNA alumna, the current Director of the school, Nadezhda Averina.