State ensemble of Russian Cossacks


Rus   Eng


History of the Don Cossacks is a bright page of the Russian State history.

Emperor Napoleon noted in his diary: Cossack people are the best part of the Russian army, that is famous for its nobleness, bravery and courage. The great Russian writer - Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy said: Cossacks formed Russian State. Cossack people as a live fence were protecting the borders of the Russian land, covering the most dangerous directions and expanding the limits of the Russian settlements. During the epochs of disasters in the life of Russian people Cossacks were sacrificially defending Russia and more than once saved the situation.

The history of the State ensemble of Russian Cossacks began in 1935 when in Ilovlinskaya stanitsa (large Cossack village) of the Volgograd region the first Cossacks ensemble was organized.

Since then this ensemble has become professional and won recognition from hundreds of thousands people both in Russia and abroad. Due to its sparkling temperament, original repertoire, high skills of artists and dynamic, taking breath away dances, the collective has become the leading professional Cossacks ensemble in Russia. Russian and foreign press was unanimous opinion, noting the high artistic and masterly performance of the collective.

In 1935 a Cossacks chorus was organized in Ilovlinskaya stanitsa. This chorus performs Cossack songs and is a customary participant of all festive occasions. The chorus consists of 25 Cossack men and women. During the World War II many artists did to the front, but immediately after the war the chorus started rehearsals.

In 1950 and later the staff of artists changed, new generations of people came but their love to Cossack songs remained unfailing.

Ilovlinskiy Cossacks chorus has collected over 2 500 Cossack songs since then.

During the period of its existence the artistic directors of the chorus were:

  • from 1935   Maria Grigorievna Strelnikova
  • from 1942   Matvey Grigorievich Bogachev
  • from 1962   Ekaterina Michailovna Morozova

In 1977 construction of an ethnographic complex of folk architecture and mode of life of the Don Cossacks started and from 1982 when the construction was completed, a vocal group began working at the museum, the artistic manager of the group was Valentina Fedorovna Ryazanova. Scientific research on the history of Cossack people performed by the museum employees combined with the creative work of artists   descendants of the Don Cossacks.

1985  the ensemble of folk singing Donskie zori (the Don dawns) was organized that included the artists who were members of the vocal group that had been working at the museum.

1991   the ensemble becomes municipal and the vocal group was replenished with an orchestra and ballet dancers.

1994  the collective changes the name - Donskie zori for Kazachiy kuren (the word kuren has a Turkic origin and means home, family).

1999   for great achievements in the sphere of Arts the collective was conferred the status of the State Ensemble by the Governor of the Volgograd region. Victor Preobrazhenskiy was appointed the artistic manager of the ensemble.

2004 the Collective changed the name for the State Ensemble of Russian Cossacks.

From 1994 Cossacks have been successfully performing on tours both in Russia and in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Japan. The best show-grounds of our country - State Concert Hall Russia, State Academic Concert Hall named after P.I. Chaykovskiy, Big Conference Hall of the Presidents Administration play host to this collective with annual concert programs.

By way of recognition of its artistic merits the ensemble was conferred the status of the State Ensemble in 2000.


© 2008-2009. All rights reserved. State ensemble of Russian Cossacks
Lenin Avenue, 31. Volgograd 400005. Russia