April 8, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—A living library of traditional Russian music, the Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble will be in residence at Amherst College from April 18 to 21, working with students and presenting free public performances in Buckley Recital Hall at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 and at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20.

The Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble will present a program at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. Russian musical traditions spanning millennia and countless ethnic regions were in danger of extinction until Dmitri Pokrovsky (1944-1996) set about preserving them in 1973. Dancing in colorful costumes and playing ancient instruments, this fascinating ensemble draws from agricultural, spiritual and social roots, playing such folk music as exuberant wedding tunes, doleful funeral tributes and buoyant planting songs. The Pokrovsky Ensemble's first trip to the United States was in 1988 with Sarah Caldwell 's “Making Music Together Festival,” which brought a distinguished group of performers and composers from the U.S.S.R. to Boston. The Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble offers a window into the Russian soul.

The public also is invited to “Sing with Pokrovsky” at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College, and experience the rich history of Russian folk song and dance in an interactive event with the Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble. Participants should come ready to sing and dance.

A discussion and reception will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, in the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Webster 202) at the college. Members of the ensemble will also be taking part in classes at Amherst College during their stay. Free and open to the public, these events are sponsored by the Global Sound Project, part of the President's Initiative Fund for Interdisciplinary Curricular Projects, and the Department of Music.