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 Zhanna Bichevskaya

Born:   June 17, 1944

bard and folk musician.


Zhanna Bichevskaya, a famous singer renowned for her peculiar 'country folk' style, has always stood apart on the music stage. Though popular, she can't be claimed a fashionable singer. Unlike anyone else, she always gives her own message from the stage, singing what is in accord with her spiritual quest, never playing up to the public.

Nevertheless, she is loved by many people whose spiritual yearning she meets, this demand growing, both in Russia and abroad. According to Mick Jagger, 'Bichevskaya is an island of true, eternal art in the ocean of modern music'. Her influence on the popularity of folk songs can be compared to that of Joan Baez and Tracy Chapman. Her voice imparts the genuine Russian spirit, sincerity and warm-heartedness.


Zhanna Bichevskaya Zhanna Bichevskaya was born on June 17, 1944 in Moscow. At the age of 17 she was presented with a guitar and started singing student, tourist and bard songs. Later, as a student of State college for art and variety art (1966-1971), she took up gathering and recording folk songs.

While studying she also worked as a guitar teacher. Upon graduating from the college she became the soloist of the vocal and instrumental ensemble 'Dobry Molodtsy' and from 1973 worked in the Mosconcert.

In the 1970s she succeeded in refreshing the interest in the authentic Russian song. Her repertoire of old folk songs is quite diverse, including peasants' labour and ritual songs; comic songs and mournful songs; town songs and ballads with their disastrous passions, fervor of feelings, love and death. 'U tserkvi stoyala kareta', 'Milenky ty moi', 'Brodyaga', 'Donskaya Ballada', 'Kazachya Pritcha', 'Chyorniy Voron', 'Matushka', 'Razluka', and so on - the long-forgotten songs revived by Bichevskaya touched the deepest chords of people's souls. At that time she was the only singer on the domestic variety stage to sing folk songs as ballads, in a bard-like way. The All-Russian contest of variety artists of 1973 brought Bichevskaya a laureate title.

Zhanna Bichevskaya After that she went on tour all around Russia, gave concerts in Finland, Hungary, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Yugoslavia and many other countries. She has gained steady popularity among music lovers both in Russia and abroad. Her recordings of folk songs, romances, ballades and parables were sold in million editions in more than forty countries of the world. This popularity was based on the singer's reverent attitude to the Russian folk song, superb vocal gifts, and an original performing manner, blending the best achievements of the folk and country styles.

Zhanna Bichevskaya is the only singer in this style (Russian country folk, as she puts it herself), who gathered full the Europe most prestigious hall Olympia in Paris eight times one after another.

In 1989 she was granted with the title Golden Guitar for her "outstanding contribution in the world performing art" at the International Contest in San-Remo (Italy). Before it Joan Baez, a famous American country singer, was the only female guitar player honoured with such a title.



Zhanna Bichevskaya For over thirty years Zhanna Bichevskaya has been singing songs that gained love of millions of people of all nationalities. Her repertoire is rich and diverse, with several hundreds of songs, ranging from long-forgotten Russian folk songs ("Village and Town Songs and Ballads," Vols. I and II), to wartime songs of the 1920s ("Lyubo, Bratsy, Lyubo"), and to contemporary prayer-like pieces ("Pyesni Ieromonacha Romana"). In the 1980s, Bichevskaya's selections also included her own versions of songs written by her mentor and friend Bulat Okoudjava, songs after the verses by Silver Age poets, as well as songs by Sergei Nikitin, Andrei Makarevich, Alexander Dolski and others.





Tags: Zhanna Bichevskaya Russian music Russian musicians Russian singers  

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