DMITRI POKROVSKY (03/05/1944 - 29/06/1996)

In the early 1970s, Dmitri Pokrovsky was a student of conducting at Moscow’s Gnessin Pedagogical Institute of Music. Frustrated with the current musical scene, he felt the need to discover something fresh and different, something that would break all the old patterns and rules. He found it in a remote village in Russia, embedded within the oldest of traditions. In the strange sound made by a group of old women singing, Pokrovsky head songs passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. The songs were extraordinary, complicated, dense in form, and unknown in towns and cities. These were the Russian folk songs.

Pokrovsky’s goal was to preserve and transmit to a new generation of performers and audiences the vitality that he found in authentic village music. Dmitri was the one of the first musicians in Russia who felt the need to bridge the gap between the old and new musical vocabulary.

Dmitri Pokrovsky lectured at America’s Smithsonian Institute, Princeton University and the Omega Institute, and was a Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, USA .Directing his Ensemble, Pokrovsky wrote numerous scores for films and was an active musical director in Russian theatre. In 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev honoured Pokrovsky with the Government Award, the Soviet Union’s highest recognition for artistic excellence, a testament to the scholarship, musicianship and vitality with which he and the Ensemble had preserved Russian tradition , culture and customs.



All Union Institute of the History of Art; Moscow, USSR. Graduate work in musicology. Principal teacher: Evgenny V. Hippias.


Russian Academy of Music (formerly the Gnessin Istitute); Moscow USSR. Masters of Art in Orchestral Conducting and Traditional Folk Instruments. Principal Teachers: Conducting: Alexander Posdniakov, Orchestration: Serguei Gochekov, Piano: Berta Kremenstein


Private study in Orchestral Conducting with Boris Haikin

1961- 1965

Musical College of the October Revolution : Bachelor of Arts in Orchestral Conducting and Performance Balalaika. Assistant of conductor in Vladimir Loktev Ensemble


1973 to 1996

Foundater and Artistic Director of the  Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble, a group of performers and ethnomusicologists dedicated to researching and recreating Russian village music, dance and rituals.

1992-1996 Visiting Professor; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Music, Tradition and Cultural Politics in Russia.

1990-1991 Artistic Director; “ Russian-American Christmas Revels”, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC

1982-1990 Director; Folklore and Ethnographic Workshops of Moscow State University

1984 Guest Composer and Conductor; “Boris Godunov”, Taganka Theater, Moscow, Russia.

1978-1982 Guest Composer and Conductor for Original Scores; State Cinematographic Symphony, Moscow, Russia

1977 Guest Composer; Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Tbilisi, Georgia.

1972-1976 Professor; Russian Academy of Music, Moscow , Russia. Designed the Academy’s curriculum in traditional instruments.

1970-1975 Teacher; Musical College of the October Revolution, Moscow, Russia. Instrumentation and Conducting Techniques.

1965-1970 Artistic Director; Balalsika Ensemble of the Moscow Philharmonic


State Award for Literature and Arts of USSR,1988.

President: UNESCO International Folklore Organization of Russia

President:National Center for Traditional Culture of Russia

Board Member: Soviet Cultural Foundation (equivalent to N.E.A.)

Government Medalfor Work in the Arts За трудовое отличие

Laureate:All Russian Vocal Ensemble Competition


1994 “Les Noces”, Elektra\Nonesuch Records. Explorer Series 79335-2

1991 “Wild Field” ,Virgin Records, RW 4-91736

1990 “Holy Evening” , Bally Bally Records, BB 1257

1990 “Faces of Russia”, Trikont Records and Bally Bally Records, BB 1265

1988 “Earthbeat” ,Living Music Records, LM 45678

1978 “Russian Polyphony”, Melodia Records, FILM SCORES

1983 “Nature in Danger” for Felix Pasternack and The State Documentary Studio of the USSR

1981 “Delayed Sunrise”: for Alexander Muratov and The Ukrainian State Film Studio.

1980 “The Magic Pitcher” : for Vladimir Tarasov and The Screen Studio of Soviet TV

1979 “The Lark”:for Victor Novotsky and The Screen Studio of Soviet TV THEATER MUSIC

1985 “Pushkin and Natalie”: Hermitage Theater, Moscow, Russia. Artistic Director : Kama Ginkas

1984 “Lord of the Flys”: Maly Dramatic Theater, Moscow, Russia. Artistic Director: Lev Dodin

1980 “Boris Godunov”: Taganka Theater, Moscow ,Russia. Artistic Director: Yuri Lubimov

1980 “Funeral in California”: Mo\Soviet Theater, Moscow, Russia.Artistic Director: Serguei Yursky

1978 “Truth is Good but Happiness is Better”: Mos\Soviet Theater, Moscow, Russia. Artistic Director: Serguei Yursky