Professor Lev Kontorovich (b. 1947, Moscow)
After graduating from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1969 with honors, where he studied choral conducting with Klavdy Ptitsa, symphony orchestra conducting with Leo Ginsburg and orchestration with Alfred Shnittke. Lev Kontorovich`s first steps at his artistic career had shown him as a bright, talented musician with a wide musical outlook conductor and teacher.
The active work of Lev Kontorovich in the Moscow Choral School named after Alexander Sveshnikov has continued for 30 years and then he created on the basis of the Academy of Choral Art named after Victor Popov. Since 1996 he was professor, and since 2012 — Head of the Department of Contemporary Choir of the Moscow Conservatory of the Performing Arts. His students are working successfully in choirs, musical theaters and educational institutions of Russia and abroad.
Lev Kontorovich has produced many concert programs, which include choral works of different eras and styles, spiritual music.
Lev Kontorovich participated in international festivals of music by J.S. Bach in Germany, the International Festival of boys’ choirs in Grasse (France), Poznan (Poland), the European Festival of Orthodox Music dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of the Christening of Russia (Moscow, Germany, France, Luxembourg), European Symposium on Choral Music in Ljubljana (Slovenia).
In 1997 he founded the Chamber choir «Spiritual Revival» of the Moscow State Institute of Music named after Alfred Schnittke.
In 2005 Lev Kontorovich was appointed the artistic director of the Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing” of The Russian State TV and Radio Music Centre. The name itself — “Masters of Choral Singing” — determined the professionalism, high level of performance, exceptional speed and versatility of the team, where each artist can act as a member of the choir and as a soloist.
The Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing” governed by Lev Kontorovich participated in the grand festivals such as “Autumn International choral festival named after Professor Boris Tevlin” (2012–2014), “To the 80th anniversary of Rodion Shchedrin” (2012), “Dedicated to a Victory Day” (2013); projects “And are together again!” – festive musical evening dedicated to the reunification of the Crimea and Russia, with the support of the Russian President Vladimir Putin (2014); “Conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and stories” (2014–2015). as a conductor Lev Kontorovich performed Requiem by Verdi, Bach’s Mass in B Minor (in conjunction with National Philharmonic of Russia, artistic director Vladimir Spivakov), “Petite Messe Solennelle” by Rossini (2014), Russian liturgy of Rodion Shchedrin “The Sealed Angel” (2015), Anniversary festival “85 years of The Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing” and others.
Grand Choir is a permanent member of the Moscow Christmas Festival of Sacred Music (Artistic directors Vladimir Spivakov and Metropolitan Hilarion) and the Moscow Easter Festival by Valery Gergiev.
In 2008 and 2012 the Grand Choir participated in the inauguration of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, and in 2014 –in a gala concert of the Summit of Heads of Caspian States (Astrakhan).
In 2013 Lev Kontorovich became artistic director of the All-Russian workshop “National Youth Choir” of students of higher and secondary educational institutions of Russia.
In 2013 Lev Kontorovich organized a creative meeting – a master class with the founder of the International Bach Academy Helmuth Rilling (Stuttgart, Germany).
In 2014 he took part in “1st International competition of choral conductors named after Boris Tevlin” as a Vice-Chairman of the Jury (Chairman – world-famous Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin).
In 2014 Professor Kontorovich got Gratitutde from Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna “For exemplary service to the Fatherland and for the benefit of the Russian State”.
In 2015 he worked as the Chairman of the Jury of All-Russian choral festival organized by the All-Russian Choral Society.
Lev Kontorovich also was appointed the Principal Chorus Master of Consolidated choir celebrating the Day of Slavic Literature and Culture in Red Square (in 2014) and a concert dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Russian Army Theatre (May 9, 2015).
On March 21, 2015 Grand Choir led by Lev Kontorovich performed Sergei Rachmaninov`s “Vespers” in the Moscow Church “Holy God Mother Icon Joy of All Mourners” in frames of Orthodox service. This performance was dedicated to 100th anniversary of composing and first performance of Rachmaninov`s masterpiece.
Since 2015 Lev Kontorovich is the Chairman of the Jury of the All-Russian Music Competition in the specialty “Choral Conducting”.
He regularly leads master classes: in the cities of Russia (Astrakhan, Belgorod, Perm, Volgograd and others); in Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica.
The Grand choir often include to their concerts Lev Kontorovich`s original transcriptions of works of world classics for mixed chorus a capella.
Lev Kontorovich worked with such distinguished conductors as Mstislav Rostropovich, Evgeny Svetlanov, Helmut Rilling, Alberto Zedda, Vladimir Fedossev, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, Vladimir Jurowsky, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Spivakov and many others.
Famous singers such as Ivan Kozlovsky, Nicolai Gedda, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Roberto Alagna, Demis Roussos, Vasily Ladyuk, Lyubov Kazarnovskaya, Vladimir Matorin, Vladislav Piavko performed their concerts accompanied by a choir led by Lev Kontorovich.