Mike Naumenko (Майк Науменко)

Naumenko was a Soviet rock and blues-rock musician, singer-songwriter, and leader of the Zoopark rock group. Born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Naumenko attended a school with an intensive English-language program where he began to develop an interest in translating from English to Russian. At the age of 8, he heard The Beatles for the first […]

Noll / Ноль

Noll (“Ноль,” meaning “Zero” in Russian) is a Soviet and Russian rock group founded by accordionist “Uncle” Fedor Chistyakov (“Дядя” Фёдор Чистяков), Alexei Nikolaev (Алексей Николаев) and Anatoly Platonov (Анатолий Платонов) in the fall of 1985. The group first appeared at the Leningrad Rock Club with songs from their first album, Music of Fighting Flies […]

Gnessin / Гнесин

Originally known as the Gnessin Institute, the Gnessin State Musical College (Государственный музыкальный колледж имени Гнесиных) is an elite music school in Moscow’s Arbat District. In additional to its academic prestige, it’s known as a factory for producing pop stars, including the legendary Philipp Kirkorov, one of Russia’s best-selling and most popular artists, Olga Arefyeva, […]

Irina Dorofeeva / Ірына Дарафеева

Irina Dorofeeva (Ірына Дарафеева in Belarusian, Ирина Дорофеева in Russian) is one of Belarus’s most well-known singers and, as of recently, a political figure Dorofeeva got her musical start at age 12, when she became the soloist of a youth vocal-instrumental ensemble, Rainbow (Радуга), in Mogilev, the Belarusian city where she grew up. Over her early teenage […]

Sofia Rotaru / Софiя Ротару

Sofia Rotaru (Софiя Ротару) is an enormously popular and influential Soviet, Ukrainian, and Romanian/Moldovan singer. Her career has lasted almost 50 years and is still going, and she has not only won most of the major music awards and lifetime achievement awards, but she is also a People’s Artist of both Ukraine and Moldova and a […]

Taisia Povaliy / Таїсія Повалій

Taisiya Povaliy (Таїсія Повалій) is a classic Soviet and Ukrainian pop and shanson singer. Born in 1964 near Kyiv to a musical family, Povaliy attended music school in Kyiv and then worked at a music hall for a few yeas before starting a solo career. She won a number of Soviet music contests at the beginning of […]

Boris Grebenshchikov / Борис Гребенщиков

Boris Grebenshchikov (Борис Борисович Гребенщиков) is a Russian singer-songwriter, and one of the “founding fathers” of Russian rock. He is a founding member of the seminal and long-running Russian rock band Aquarium (active since 1972). As a lyricist, Grebenshchikov has an eclectic style that combines themes of Buddhism, Russian Orthodoxy, alcohol consumption, technology, and so on. […]

Bravo / Браво

Bravo (Браво) is a classic Russian rock band formed in the 1980s. Like the popular Soviet band Secret, its style and image was inspired by Western rock, including the Beatles. Evgeniy Khavtan (Евгений Хавтан) founded Bravo in 1983, when he was a student at the Moscow Institute of Railway Engineers. The first configuration of the […]

Veronika Dolina / Вероника Долина

Veronika Dolina (Вероника Долина) is a Russian singer, poet, and bard—one of the few women in that male-dominated genre. She was born and raised in Moscow, in a family of an aircraft-designer father and a doctor mother. She studied at music school when she was young and then entered the French department at university, training […]

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