Leonid Mikhailovich Kharitonov – Soloist of the Ensemble. (b. Golumet, Irkutsk Oblast 1933). (Russian: Л.М. Харитонов). People’s Artist of Russia, Honoured Artist of Russia; bass-baritone soloist.
When his father went missing in World War II, his mother brought him up. At the age of 14yrs he studied locally to be a welder, and began to perform as a singer. At 17 years old he started auditioning at Irkutsk Philharmonic, then at Moscow Philharmonic, and finally was accepted by Moscow Conservatory. This was very difficult because as a Siberian he did not have even a matriculation certificate, but his strong singing voice spoke for him. For nearly 20 years he was a member of the Red Song and Dance Ensemble of the Soviet army (later the Alexandrov Ensemble): in the choir from 1953 to 1965, and a soloist from 1965 to 1972. He subsequently became a soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic. He performed successfully in most concert halls in Russia: On tour he visited the entire country, including the Kremlin Palace concert hall. He was the pride of Russia, sang at concerts for the Government and for foreign delegations. After that he went on tour abroad a great deal.
With the Alexandrov Ensemble he recorded The Ballad about Russian Boys (music: Novikov; lyrics: Oshanin L.), John Reed Walks Around Petrograd (music: Novikov; lyrics: M. Vershinin), War Isn’t Over Yet (music: B. Muradeli; lyrics: M. Andronov), Here Lenin Lived (music: B. Terentiev; lyrics: A. Fatyanov), Lenin’s Guard (music: B Aleksandrov; lyrics: M Khotimsk), My Fatherland (music: O. Feltsman; lyrics: Oshanin L.), Veterans Don’t Grow Old in their Souls (music: Tulika S.; lyrics: Y. Belinsky), Peacefighter’s Song (music: B. Muradeli; lyrics: V. Kharitonov), Gray Hair (music: A. Ekimyan; lyrics: F. Laube), Son of the Fatherland (music: S. Tulika; lyrics: V. Lazarev), Son of Russia (music: St. Tulika; lyrics: V. Kharitonov), Ej, Uhnem (Song of the Volga Boatmen), Death of Varyag.
The official site of this soloist is located here.