Face Music - Projects - Folk-Centre Pesnokhorki
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P & C December 1998
- Face Music / Albi

- last update 03-2016

Folk-Centre Pesnokhorki

For twenty years, Olga Abramova, graduate of the State Conservatory in Saratov at the Volga, scholar of professor Lew Christiansen, has led the Folklore Centre in Barnaul.

- In 1979, Olga Abramova founded in the Altai region her own ensemble under the name of Pesnokhorki. As a teacher and director of the Department for traditional music at the Barnaul Music College, she imparts traditional folklore, which she has been collecting in the Altai region for many years.

Thanks to her commitment and her excellent knowledge in this field, she has become the model for many of her students. Some have even followed her footsteps and lead their own centres and ensembles today:

Marina and Vassilij Vjalkov
Tatjana and Alexander Gojda
Jelena and Igor Sasontov
Jelena Pestereva and Sergej Smirnov
Julia and Valerij Parfenov
Marina Kamneva
Tatjana Korsun

Olga Abramova's talent and her outstanding leadership have created this exceptional situation in Siberia in as far as the national folklore of the Russians and Cossacks is transmitted and taught in the schools today.

For 20 years already, the ensemble has been disseminating the songs collected by Olga Abramova at concerts, and like this contributed to the revival of this traditional folk art. This happened not only within the Altai region but all over Russia, and even in foreign countries, the ensemble found recognition for its activities.

- In 1995, Olga Abramova and the members of the ensemble-members, assisted by the Culture Centre of the Siberian Cossack with Jurij Beloserzew at the top and the administration of the "Industrialnyj" borough of the city Barnaul with Gennadij Kulikow at the top, founded the Children and Youth Folklore Centre " Pesnokhorki ", where nowadays 50 teachers teach approximately 600 children and teenagers.

- In 1998, the ensemble recorded two compact discs in Switzerland, published by Face Music: one disc with Russian songs from the Altai and one with Cossack songs.

The ensemble reached high prestige and received prices or even diplomas for its participation at competitions and festivals in Russia and in the foreign countries:

Price of Lenin Komsomol of the Altai region
Price the Union exhibition of the USSR
Diploma of the 12th Youth-World-Festival in Moscow
Diploma of the Russian television and radio broadcast competition "Voices of Russia".

The ensemble made guest-trips to:

- Romania, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The ensemble has contributed a lot to the revival of the Cossack singing tradition. Thus, "new pages" have been opened in the history of Siberian folklore, above all with the so-called "strelowyjes pesni", the festival songs of the Cossacks that had never been performed at concerts and therefore, were unknown to many a folklore researcher.

Exactly in this period, the untiring collecting activities and the study of the Slavic folk traditions in the Altai began to bear the first fruits in Russia. The collected material is compiled systematically at the centre and now also published. Up to date, six anthologies with traditional song from the Altai have been published:

The Russian traditional culture of the district Tretjakowskij in the Altai region
The Russian traditional culture of the village Vorobjovo in the district Tretjakovskij in the Altai region
The Russian traditional culture of the district Krasnogorskij in Altai region
The traditional culture of the "Polish" of the old creed in the village Sibirjatshicha in the district Soloneshnyj in the Altai region
The traditional culture of the "Poles" and "masons" of the mining region in the Altai
Russian traditional culture in the district Ustj-Koksinskij in the Altai.

The educational formation and activity of the teachers at the centre are distinct by their original and modern methods that are based on experience and the latest pedagogic findings. In the pedagogic centre, classes are the normal teaching units. The scope of the "Pesnokhorki" centre is to impart and disseminate the traditional Slav culture in the present-day Russia. It is the goal of the centre to contribute to:

the revival and safeguarding of folk traditions
acquaintance of the growing up generation with their traditional culture
to social adaptation of the children to our society and to a living culture
the scientific study of folklore in the Altai.

The foundation of this Children and Youth-Folklore-Centre (CYFC) gave the ensemble Pesnokhorki scope and content in its research for inventive creativity as well as collecting of experiences with the growing up generation to whom all this should be transmitted.

Ensemble "Pesnikhorki"2000

Children and Youth-Folklore-Centre Pesnokhorki -, (CYFC)
Department for education Industrialnyj borough of the city Barnaul

Offer for children and teenagers at the CYFC:

- Study of the folklore in the Altai

- Education in traditional arts:

Singing in groups
Regional singing traditions
Decoding of the folk songs
Transmission of the oral folk tradition
Folk music instruments, wind instruments, piano
Traditional folk dance choreography
Decorative and applied arts
Reading music
Transmission of the Cossacks' tradition

- The CYFC teaches in classes of the schools in the city Barnaul the traditional culture of the Cossacks and Slavic folk arts, in order to develop the inventive creativity and the social adaptation to the society as well as to prepare the children for the learning in the school. The pedagogues of the CYFC also work with children of pre-school age and in the kindergarten of the city Barnaul.

- Graduates of the CYFC:

Won prizes at five international folklore festivals in Poland (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
Won prizes at regional folklore festivals in Novosibirsk in 1997, 1998 and in 1999.
Were winners at the competition for the best folk singer of the region Altai
Were winners at the competitions for the best singers of local songs of the Altai region in 1998 and 1999
Received prices and diplomas at district and city competitions for folk singers
Participated in exhibitions on decorative and applied arts organised by districts, the city and various regions.

- Das KJFZ veranstaltet jährlich Weiterbildungskurse für Lehrer in den Fächern "Folklore in der Schule".

- Das KJFZ veranstaltet auch:

Feste nach dem Volkskalender
Ferienlager für Kinder und Jugendliche
Wissenschaftliche Konferenzen


- The collected material is evaluated at the CYFC for folk arts and ethnography and displayed in exhibitions of the ethnographic museum.

- The CYFC organises folklore expeditions and continues to collect more material. Guests are welcome to participate in these expeditions.

- The CYFC writes its own teaching aids.

Russian-German translation: Gregory Agalzev, Zurich (2000),
German adaptation and English translation: Silvia Delorenzi-Schenkel, Biasca (2000),

- Costumes from the Altaisky-Kray Region: 1. - 2. - 3. - 4. - 5. - 6.