URGENT: E-Mail Campaign in Support of the Alexandrov Ensemble!

Dear Fans and Friends of the Alexandrov Ensemble,

Our beloved Ensemble urgently needs your assistance! As you will see from the letter quoted below, there is another performing group that has been using the name "Ensemble of the Red Army" during tours abroad and is, additionally, attempting to trademark their use of the phrase "of the Red Army" to exclude its use by the Alexandrov Ensemble.

We, the administrators of this blog, feel that the only ensemble to use this historic appellation should be the Alexandrov Ensemble, which was originally formed as the Red Army Choir and is known worldwide by this name. The Ensemble has built an unsurpassed reputation for excellence with audiences around the world. When these fans attend a concert of an ensemble using the words "of the Red Army" or "Red Army" in its title, they are expecting that it is, in fact, the Alexandrov Ensemble, not any other group!

The leaders of the Alexandrov Ensemble have requested that fans worldwide make it known that they support the idea that the Alexandrov Ensemble should have the exclusive right to use the phrases "of the Red Army" and "Red Army" in its name and promotional materials.

Therefore, we ask you to show your support by sending an e-mail to the Alexandrov Ensemble. This must be done by January 23rd, since a hearing will be held the next week on this matter. Our e-mails of support will be used to bolster the arguments presented in the hearing by the Alexandrov Ensemble in favor of their use of the phrases in question.

Please send your e-mail (in whatever language you prefer to use, whether English, Russian or otherwise–all are welcome and appreciated!) to: Malev L.I. and Alexandrov E.B. at ansambl@bk.ru The Subject should be: In Support of the Alexandrov Ensemble!

We thank you most sincerely!
The Admins

You can also post a message on President Medvedev’s Twitter account here:
English http://twitter.com/MedvedevRussiaE
Russian http://twitter.com/MedvedevRussia

Text of original letter requesting our assistance (translated from Russian):

You already know about the problem of repeated use by another group (the Ensemble of MVD – Ministry of Internal Affairs) of our appellation — Ensemble of the Red Army — during tours broad.

On January 31, 2011, a hearing will be held in the Chamber of Patent Disputes, RosPatent, (where they will meet with both the Alexandrov Ensemble and the Ensemble MVD authorities), to consider the legitimacy of the application for international trademark registration of the phrase Red Army by the ensemble of MVD, which is being contested by the Alexandrov Ensemble.

Could you assist us in the form of a letter written by the fans of the Alexandrov Ensemble containing the thought that there should be only one Red Army Ensemble in the world. The letter may be sent to the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation – Chief of Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Army General Rogozhkin NV? If possible, the same letter can be sent to the Committee on Culture of the State Duma and to the blog of President Medvedev DA.

But most importantly, we must get this letter in electronic form to the Chamber for Patent Disputes. Please send this letter (with the opinion of our fans) in electronic form to the e-mail of the Ensemble. If you can send it in a week, then we will submit it to the Chamber of Patent Disputes as an additional argument. It will be most helpful.

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17 comments on “URGENT: E-Mail Campaign in Support of the Alexandrov Ensemble!

  1. Frunze says:

    Dear, kamerades,
    I sent follow letter to the ensemble.


    Dear Mr. Malev and everyone from the Alexandrov Ensemble,

    I have been a fan of yours over 40 years. In my current occupation, which involves writing on military technology history and military history, I have discussed the role of your ensemble through my works and lectures whenever I had the chance.

    The Alexandrov Ensemble was known in Japan nearly 60 years ago and was already called the “Red Army Chorus” at that time. Many of the beautiful Russian folksongs and Soviet-era songs are remembered alongside of the Alexandrov Ensemble. In other words, for most Japanese people, the “Red Army Chorus” refers to none other than the Alexandrov Ensemble.

    In addition, as a military historian, I believe that the Alexandrov Ensemble deserves the historic and traditional name of the “Red Army Chorus” concurrently with its name. A.V. Alexandrov, the founder of the ensemble, composed the irreplaceable war time song “Sacred War” (Svyaschenaya Voyna) and performed it at the front, home, and throughout the world. This song found its place in history as a symbol of the worldwide resistance against Fascism. This clearly is a historical accomplishment of the Alexandrov Ensemble as a chorus of the Red Army.

    As evident above, it is unthinkable that an ensemble other than the Alexandrov Ensemble should embrace the title of the “Red Army Chorus”. As a “singing weapon,” the Alexandrov Ensemble, which made an everlasting contribution to the victory of the Great Patriotic War, deserves to succeed the historical value of the now-gone Red Army and to pass it on to later generations.

    I personally created a small ensembled called “Polyanochka” to spread the Red Army Chorus’s heritage, taking part in its performance. What I always have in mind, as a part of the ensemble, is the historical presence of the Red Army Chorus – the Alexandrov Ensemble.

    It is my wish that you maintain tradition and perform masterpieces and dances that were created from the glorious history of the Russian people, enriching ties between peoples from various nations. Also, with the heart of a loving neighbor, I suggest to the Russian government and army that, in order to inherit real historical heritage, you take action to fundamentally solve the name-use issue.

    Mitsuharu Furuze, military writer, Japan

    • KAPPSA says:

      Dear Mr. Frunze! Thank you so much for your very thoughtful and sincere letter and for your contribution to this problem! We also hope that we will manage to help the Ensemble in keeping the deserved name of The Red Army! I agree with each and every word you wrote! Thank you once again for your time and care!

  2. Valerie says:

    I have tweeted President Medvedev, and sent the following letter to the Ensemble:

    Dear Sirs,

    I have loved the music of the Alexandrov Ensemble ever since I was a child. It was my first introduction to Russian music and culture.

    Forty years ago, when I first heard the Ensemble, we knew them only as the “Red Army Chorus” or the “Red Army Choir”. And the group has been known by those names for many decades.

    The name “Red Army Choir” should be reserved for the Alexandrov Ensemble, which has represented Russian music around the world so long and so well. Other choirs (which are, no doubt, excellent), should begin their own traditions with new names.

    Valerie Davis

  3. fikamar says:

    I have sent a letter too, but in Indonesian
    And I just sent it ten minutes ago

    Is it okay?
    Here is the letter :

    Kepada Mr.Malev dan semua anggota Alexandrov Ensemble yang saya hormati,

    Mungkinkah sudah telat untuk mengirim surat ini? Semoga tidak…

    Saya menyukai semua musik dari Alexandrov Ensemble. Walau anehnya, saya menyukai lagu ini sejak saya berumur 13 tahun (tahun 2009), tepat lulus SMP, padahal saat itu sedang marak-maraknya Super Junior dari Korea dan D’Massiv dari Indonesia – Negara saya. Masih teringat lagu yang pertama didengar adalah “Dark Eyes”, dimana lagu tersebut saya temukan judulnya dari buku belajar piano dari saudara saya.

    Yah, walau sayangnya hanya saya yang menyukai Alexandrov Ensemble – di Kota Semarang pada usia 15 tahun sekarang ini. Tetapi ada bangganya karena saya merasa diri saya unik sendiri… 

    Untuk permasalahan nama, saya sangat mendukung bila nama “Red Army Choir” itu hanya untuk Alexandrov Ensemble. Lagipula kalian dahulu yang menciptakan “Red Army Choir”. Tidak boleh ada plagiat! Sekali plagiat buang saja ke laut!

    Salam dari Indonesia!

    Fitri Kamelia Margareth

  4. Gloria says:

    I sent the email. I sincerely hope it helps. Please let me know if I can do anything else.

    Best Regards,

  5. Redcoat says:

    I might have missed the date by a couple of hours, but here’s what I sent to the ensemble’s email address. I write under the screenname “Redcoat” on Mr. Gavva’s Japanese website.

    Mr. Leonid Malev and Evgeny Aleksandrov,

    I am writing this letter in support of the Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble, as many others must have done so. I am a young man, still in my 20’s, so my history with the ensemble is very short – I was only born around the time when Mr. Valery Gavva joined the ensemble as a soloist. When I first learned about the ensemble 8 years ago, however, my musical experience itself changed. Since then, I went on to purchase several CD’s and DVD’s of the ensemble, manufactured in both Russia and elsewhere, and have been following the ensemble to this day.

    I was quiet dismayed to learn that the Ensemble of the Ministry of Interior (MVD) was attempting to acquire an international trademark for exclusive usage of the title “Red Army.” It is, of course, ironic that “Red Army” had become the name that people in foreign countries recognize the most, despite the fact that the Red Army was renamed a long ago.
    There is no changing, however, that the Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble was the ensemble that came to be known as the “Red Army Choir/Chorus,” way before other ensembles that also perform abroad – MVD ensemble and Moscow Military District ensemble, to name a few – were created. The name usage problem, which I believe was left untouched due to the advantage stemming from its popularity abroad, surely is something that had to be resolved eventually; but I cannot possibly find any justification for the MVD ensemble’s move.

    Long story short, this is my view of the situation:

    1. The name usage problem surely needed to be resolved at some point.

    2. The problem should have been addressed as a way to straight things out, not as an attempt to acquire exclusive right to the title. The MVD ensemble’s move only leaves the impression that it was taking advantage of the situation, and even outright treacherous – no other ensemble seems to have been consulted with in the process, either.

    3. The Alexandrov Ensemble, therefore, has every right to challenge the MVD ensemble’s attempt.

    This is the least I could do as a person who was deeply influenced by the ensemble. The ensemble was the door that introduced me to Russian and Soviet music, and my interest in choir overall. I would not have been a member of high school choir had it not been for my encounter with their music, and I would still not be a member of the university choir today. The ensemble is still my biggest musical influence on my life, and it is my hope that it continues to be a world-renowned musical gem.



  6. Redcoat says:

    Hi all,

    I sent a message to Mikhail Kharitonov and Linda about my findings on the “Red Army Choir in France” incident in 2010 yesterday, and, following the advise of Mr. Furuze (you may know him as “Furunze” or the singer of the Polyanochka ensemble in Japan), I decided to post it here so that everyone can see it.

    So here it goes:

    . . . I think I discovered an important clue to the origins of the name-usage issue (my only regret is that I did not find this sooner!).

    I purchased a DVD of the Alexandrov Ensemble (live performance in 1998, 70 year anniversary of the ensemble), which can be found here:

    I ordered this DVD from the manufacturer, called the FGL Productions, and also included with the DVD was the catalog of the manufacturer’s products. There was a section dedicated to the Red Army Choir, and I was horrified to see what was in it.

    First of all, the section treated the Alexandrov Ensemble and the MDV Ensemble as if they were the same ensemble, and the introductory paragraphs for this “Red Army Choir” was equally erroneous – it stated that the Alexandrov Ensemble was founded in 1929, then the MDV Ensemble in 1939! It then goes on to say that the MDV ensemble performed in front of Pope John Paul II, presidents Yeltsin and Putin – it was, of course, the Alexandrov Ensemble that performed for them.

    I actually found an exact copy of this nonsense on the FGL’s Red Army Choir website, found here: http://www.choeursdelarmeerouge.com/e-bio.htm

    Second, the FGL Productions may have been involved in the MDV Ensemble’s tour in France in 2010. The full schedule can in fact be found on the website: http://www.choeursdelarmeerouge.com/e-gig.htm

    FGL was at least involved with recording and making commercial products from the MDV Ensemble’s 2010 tour – it made a CD and DVD.
    CD: http://www.fglmusic.com/produit.php?id=1103
    DVD: http://www.fglmusic.com/produit.php?id=1099

    The question, then, is whether FGL knowingly called the MDV Ensemble a “Red Army Choir”. If there was a commercial factor involved, calling this ensemble a “Red Army Choir” would have been particularly effective in attracting spectators, and I myself believe that the company did it knowingly – but we will never know for sure unless we ask the company.

    The above situation explains why the Alexandrov Ensemble started getting letters from foreign countries in 2010 even though the ensemble was not performing abroad. When two products under the name “Red Army Choir” came out after the tour, it is not hard to imagine that the whole tour was introduced as a genuine “Red Army Choir” tour.
    The situation clearly matches with what happened in 2010, as described in articles the Alexandrov Ensemble posted online:


    (I read two Russian articles that the Alexandrov Ensemble posted through Google’s translation, but I don’t think translation was too off)

    . . . I hope that we can eventually contact the Alexandrov Ensemble and the FGL Productions.

    • Adam says:

      Effectivement, je suis tombé dans le piège, allant tout heureux au concert de l’ensemble MVD à Nantes en pensant sincèrement qu’il s’agissait de l’Ensemble Alexandrov. J’ai aussi acheté quelques CD de l’ensemble MVD tout en croyant qu’il s’agissait de l’ensemble Alexandrov, et avais été fort déçu (notamment par le CD ‘Memories’, qui ne présentait quasiment aucun morceau russe -http://www.russianmusicandvideos.com/shop/product_details.php?ProductID=12-). Je suis rassuré de voir que le véritable ensemble Alexandrov n’était pas celui que j’ai vu mais qu’il reste toujours fidèle à lui-même et d’une qualité inégalable. Je m’excuse donc auprès de lui pour ce que j’ai pu penser un instant avec un CD de l’ensemble MVD entre les mains.


  7. William says:

    Hello everyone,

    It has come to my attention that there is a group also handled by FGL Productions going under the name of the Red Army Choir, I have been told by some that it is indeed the performance of the Alexandrov Ensemble in Cannes 2008. However, the ensemble includes female singers in the choir and this makes me doubt if it is indeed the Alexandrov Ensemble.

    Here is a link to the FGL Productions page for them: http://www.fglmusic.com/produit?id=825

    Could anyone help clarify if this is the Alexandrov Ensemble? If it is, then updated information on the inclusion of female singers into the Choir would be helpful.


    • Redcoat says:

      Hi Adam,

      I think that this ensemble might be the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Strategic Rocket Forces, also known as the Red Star Red Army Chorus in the West (Warner released a video/DVD of the ensemble under that name). The ensemble includes women choral members and seems to use red star designs, so this is my best guess.

      However, one thing that bothers me is the fact that none of the members are wearing green uniform. The Strategic Rocket Forces belong to the army, and green uniform is the army uniform – instead, they are wearing either blue (air force’s uniform) or white (navy uniform, I think).

      With that said, I can’t confirm the identity of this ensemble, but what I can tell you with confidence is that this ensemble is NOT the Alexandrov Ensemble. It seems that FGL fooled us twice, once with the Ministry of Interior Ensemble and once again with this another ensemble.



      • Redcoat says:

        Additional information: the creator of the Japanese Red Army Chorus fan site identifies the ensemble as the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Air Force.

        • Adam says:


          I don’t know if this ensemble is the Alexandrov Ensemble or another, because there are some songs of this DVD in the Cd “Les plus grands succès” (the greatests hits), and the others songs of this disc are only of the Alexandrov Ensemble (There is no songs of the MVD Ensemble, for example).
          And there is a second DVD who is made in the year 2010 of the same concert, and there is writen on the box ‘the official ensemble’. Bur, is it the official Alexandrov Ensemble or the official Red Star Red Army Chorus Ensemble ?

          In conclusion, I don’t know.


        • Redcoat says:

          Hi Adam,

          I have a copy of FGL Production’s catalog that I received when I ordered a DVD from the company, and I discovered that the company lumped all of their Russian song and dance ensembles products together. Both the MVD Ensemble and the Alexandrov Ensemble are referred to as the “Red Army Choir” (e.g. “MVD Red Army Choir”) in the catalog, and the catalog seems to be confusing many facts regarding both ensembles. The DVD that you mentioned earlier is listed in the catalog as well. No specific name is listed for the performing ensemble in that DVD, however, and the catalog simply states that it’s a DVD of the “Red Army Choir”.

          As for which “Red Army Choir” is “official,” this is all I know:

          1. MVD Ensemble applied for a trade mark in France that would give the MVD Ensemble exclusive right to use the name “Red Army Choir” (Le Choeur de l’Armee Rouge) during its tour in France. The application appears to have been accepted in 2010.

          2. The Alexandrov Ensemble challenged the MVD Ensemble’s move when the MVD Ensemble tried to do the same thing in Russia.

          3. Accordingly, the only country that the MVD Ensemble is known to be the only legal ensemble that can use the name “Red Army Choir” is France.

          The above information comes from a Youtube video narrated by a great granddaughter of Alexander Alexandrov, the founder of the Alexandrov Ensemble:

          (At least that’s what I have been told by another Japanese fan of the ensemble)

          Hope that helps, and I hope that others can provide more relevant information regarding this on-going scandal.



  8. Hi!
    How was this matter resolved? I was looking for information online and it’s very confusing about this two choirs…
    Recently The MVD is touring France and it seems to still use Red Army in its name…

    I can’t seem to find any new information about Alexandrov’s Choir… the site seems offline… do they have Facebook or VK page?

    I want to know if they were able to continue their work since its terrible accident and if they are touring other countries as well…

    Anyway, Warm Greetings and my Deep Condolences to all Alexandrov’s Artists… May they rest in peace!

    From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

    Lucas Levitan

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