The history of the Admiralty Naval Orchestra can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Peter I. In 1703 Peter I decreed that twenty-nine singers be taken from the Imperial Cappella and transferred to the naval ministry in order to study military music. In 1711 the orchestra was awarded the official status of “military music chorus of the Admiralty Battalion”.
Over the years of its existence, the ensemble has emerged as one of the finest military orchestras of the Naval Fleet. At different times, it has been conducted by such outstanding musicians as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, G. Stepanov, S. Rotmil, A. Tsvetkov, S. Polyansky and V. Barsegian.
From 1985 to September 2008 the orchestra was led by Captain Alexei Karabanov of the 1st class, Honoured Artist of Russia. Karabanov recorded seven discs with the Admiralty Orchestra featuring the greatest military music from various eras.
In 2008 Major Sergei Aleyev and Lieutenant Captain Valentin Lyashchenko took over at the helm of the orchestra, having graduated from the Moscow Military Music School and the Military Conducting Faculty of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire.
Today the orchestra is deeply involved in educational activities and concert performances, appearing at the most prestigious concert venues in St Petersburg in addition to participating in such international festivals as Admiralty Music, Palaces of St Petersburg, The Grand Johann Strauss Waltz, the Easter Festival (St Petersburg) and the International Festival of Military Wind Bands.
Since 1991 the Admiralty Orchestra has undertaken annual tours. The ensemble has given concerts in Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, China, The Netherlands, Finland, France, Sweden and Switzerland.
News source: The State Academic Mariinsky Theatre
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Culture news archive for 06 February' 2015.
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