Ensemble history

The traditions of the art of playing the horns on the Vladimir land are now preserved and developed by the ensemble «Vladimir Horn Players» of the Regional Center of Folk Art (artistic director – Alexander Lebedev, Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation, laureate of the Russian Government Prize «Soul of Russia»). Modern horn players have nothing to do with shepherding. All of them are people with professional musical education (Russian Academy of Music named after the Gnesins, Moscow State University of Culture, Vladimir Regional College of Music named after A.P. Borodin, etc.). But they are united by the love of traditional culture, the desire to revive the original art of playing the primordial folk musical instrument – the horn.

The ensemble «Vladimir Horn Players» began its creative activity back in 1992. The mission of the ensemble is to preserve the traditions of horn music, the style of performance of Russian folk songs. At the same time, the musicians give new life to authentic melodies, present them in a modern context, understandable and interesting to the audience. They carry out a lot of research work, study materials of folklore expeditions, historical audio recordings. A significant part of the ensemble's rich repertoire is made up of original samples – tunes and folk songs of the Vladimir region, which a hundred years ago were performed by the horn players choirs of N.V. Kondratyev, P.G. Pakharev, A.V. Sulimov. It is no coincidence that the horn music of the Vladimir Opolye performed by the ensemble «Vladimir Horn Players» is included in the Unified Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Vladimir Region. 

The concert programs include historical tunes, lyric, dance, wedding, quadrille, calendar, comic, soldier songs from different regions of Russia. Musical arrangements of Russian folk songs «Ah, you birch», «Oh, yes, you viburnum», «At the forge», «Mistress», «Down the street pavement», «I will go, young», «On Saturday, a rainy day» and others entered the golden fund of the ensemble.

In addition, the repertoire of «Vladimir Horn Players» is replenished with song and instrumental compositions inspired by the works of our countrymen –V. Soloukhin, S. Nikitin, A. Fatyanov. At the same time, modern musical arrangements preserve the sincerity and soulfulness of Russian folk music.

The musicians masterfully play not only wind – horn, flute, zhaleyka, kalyuk, but also other folk instruments – gusli, balalaika, button accordion, tambourine, drum, ratchet, and even produce music by means of scythes and axes. In addition, modern horn players both sing and dance, always demonstrating a high level of performing skills.

The list of achievements and awards of «Vladimir Horn Players» is impressive. The ensemble was awarded the title of «People's collective». It is the winner of the Grant of the President of the Russian Federation, laureate of the Regional Prize in the field of culture, art and literature for the preservation and development of the traditions of folk musical art, has letters of thanks and diplomas from the administrations of the Vladimir region and many regions of Russia. In 2020, the collective became a laureate of the Regional Prize in the field of literature and art named after A.I. Fatyanov for the creation of a concert program dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the famous songwriter.

The ensemble is the winner of the Grand Prix and laureate of international and all-Russian competitions held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the State Russian House of Folk Art named after V.D. Polenov. «Vladimir Horn Players» won the audience and the jury, having received the Grand Prix at the All-Russian Festival-Competition of Folk Music «Play, Horn» (Obninsk, 2015), the International Competition of Balalaika Performers and Folk Instrument Ensembles named after M.F. Rozhkov (Nizhny Novgorod, 2016), All-Russian Competition of Children and Youth Creativity «Musical Olympus», nomination «Vocal and choral folk performance» (Moscow, 2017). The ensemble became a laureate of the All-Russian Festival of Folk Art «Together we are Russia» (Tver, 2014), the All-Russian Festival-Competition of Orchestras and Ensembles of National Instruments of the Peoples of Russia «Many Faces of Russia» (Moscow, 2016), the All-Russian Festival of Horn Music «Russian Horn» (Nerekhta, 2017) and others. The collective is a permanent participant and is annually awarded with the organizing committee diplomas of the International Festival of Folk Art «Golden Ring» (Vladimir) for a high professional level and popularization of folk culture. In 2019, the ensemble «Vladimir Horn Players» became the winner of the First All-Russian Festival-Competition of Amateur Art Groups (nomination «Traditions»), held within the framework of the Culture National Project, and a grant holder.