MILITARY WIND BANDS TO PERFORM NEAR KREMLIN AGAIN

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MOSCOW, May 1 (RIA Novosti, Natalia Gorbunova) - Starting May 1, wind orchestras will perform near the Kremlin for the first time in 200 years.

Head and chief conductor of the Presidential Orchestra Anton Orlov told RIA Novosti correspondent, starting May 1 and through the whole summer season, wind orchestras will be performing on Sundays at Alexandrovski Park, unless the performance is hindered by the weather.

The Presidential Orchestra will open and close the wind music season at Alexandrovski Park. Various Russian wind bands will perform on other Sundays.

"The schedule includes performances of various Army and Navy military bands," Orlov said.

The tradition that was born at the time of Alexander I, when the wind orchestras regularly performed at the Kremlin walls has been revived. "We would like to revive old traditions and at the same time add something new and original," Orlov stated.

He also said the orchestras would play from 4:00 p.m. till 5:00 p.m., between the change of guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. "It is a one-hour program. It is an optimal performance length for a wind orchestra," he added.

The head of the Presidential Orchestra also pointed out that the program from time to time might include thematic performances dedicated to important dates in Russian history. The 60th anniversary of the Great Victory Parade in June is among such events.

Anton Orlov, a Distinguished Performer of Russia, heads the Presidential Orchestra since March 2005. He has been working with the band since 1993. Before that time he worked as a conductor with various orchestras in North Korea, Greece, Lebanon, Moldova, Cyprus and Ukraine.

The Presidential Orchestra is the main musical group performing at state-level official events.

It was founded on September 11, 1938 as the Orchestra of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant's Office.

Over the years, the band had the following names: the Model Orchestra of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant's Office and the Kremlin Orchestra. The orchestra became the Presidential Orchestra on September 11, 1993.

The Presidential Orchestra has toured many countries, performing at some of the world's most prestigious concert halls, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Madison Square Garden in New York, the Olympia in Paris, the Rome Opera and the Friedrichstadt Palace in Berlin.

The orchestra's performances have been applauded by Queen Elizabeth II, the King and the Queen of Spain, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, U.S. presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton, presidents of France, Italy, Canada, China and so on.

The Presidential Orchestra's "home" is the Moscow Kremlin's Troitskaya (Trinity) Tower. The tallest of the Kremlin towers, it houses rehearsal rooms, recording studios and the orchestra's offices and premises.

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