Renowned Russian choir director, founder, artistic director and chief conductor of Vesna Children’s Choir, principal of Vesna Choir school for almost 50 years. Distinguished artist of Russia (1984), winner of the Moscow Award in the Field of Literature and Arts (1994), winner of Federal grant program “Gifted Children” within the Presidential program “Children of Russia” (2002), recipient of the Order of Friendship (2004), laureate of international competitions, panel member of many Russian and international choral competitions, author of a number of articles, choral adaptations and arrangements.

Aleksandr Ponomaryov was born in 1938, to a family of an Army officer. Having worked his compulsory Army service as an orchestra member, he made a decision to make musiс his career. In 1966 he graduated from Moscow Conservatory (class of Zvereva) and in 1971 he graduated the Kharkov Institute of Arts (class of Yakovleva).

The passion of the whole life of Alexander Ponomaryov was VESNA children’s choir and a music magnet school that grew out of it.

It all began long ago, in the North District of Moscow, in 1964, when, at the request of the local community, a student of a musical college, who had just finished his Army service, to organize a children’s choir.  31 March 1965 became the birthday of the organization.

In 1966 the group was officially transformed into Vesna children’s choir studio.  The children were taught solfege, musical literature, the piano. Since that year the choir has been a participant of scores of various concerts and festivals put together by the Composers’ Union and Moscow Philharmonic, collaborating with modern Russian composers of renown.

Since the mid-70-s Vesna has toured Russia extensively.

The first notable tour took place in Georgia in 1977 where the Choir, jointly with Madrigal ensemble and the State Chamber Orchestra of Georgia (headed by Leo Markiz) performed the classic Magnificat by Monteverdi and Stabat Mater by Pergolesi as well as the contemporary Ten Choir Poems by Rubin.

The 10th anniversary of the choir was commemorated with the first recorded LP.

Alexander Ponomaryov managed to create a school with unique traditions, a special learning environment and a devoted faculty.  The school celebrated its 25th anniversary in a new building that became a true music sanctum, which even contained the dream we always had: our own organ.  Due to the effort of Alexander Ponomaryov an instrument by «Alexander Schuke» was given to VESNA.

The 80-s were filled with hard work and artistic efforts. New music was introduced, new recordings made, new tours made.  The trademark of VESNA has always been performance of large pieces of classical and modern music, such as A. Vivaldi “Gloria”, J. Haydn “Die sieben Worte” and “Heiligmesse”, G. Pergolesi «Stabat Mater», C. Monteverdi “Magnificat”, B. Britten “Missa brevis” and “Ceremony of carols” and many others.

In 1981 the Choir was invited to participate in the performance of Evensongs by Rubin jointly with Minin Moscow Chamber Choir and the Grand Symphony Orchestra of Radio and Television.

Since then VESNA has often performed the children choir parts in grand music pieces, having sung works by Bach, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Berlioz, and Mahler. The 250th Haydn anniversary was celebrated by the performance of his “Seven Last Words of Christ” adapted by Ponomaryov for children’s choir, grand orchestra and soloists. The Choir was conducted by Fedoseev with solo parts performed by the Lisitsian sisters, Martynov and Safiulin.

Alexander Ponomaryov was one of the first among those who, in Soviet times, began unearthing the priceless treasure chest of Russian spiritual music that later was to become a significant part of the choir’s repertoire.  Several times VESNA participated in the festivals of Orthodox music in Moscow and in 1996 performed at the festival of Spiritual music in Paris.

The peak of VESNA touring and concert activity fell on the 1990-2000-s when the choir has performed an impressive range of music pieces, large and small, from the Renaissance pieces to modern avant garde, concerts with orchestra, organ, grand piano, a capella, secular and spiritual, by Russian and foreign composers.  Alexander Ponomaryov created masterful arrangements and adaptations of classical pieces, which later became part of repertoires of other children’s choirs.

Under the directorship of Alexander Ponomaryov VESNA recorded 12 LP’s and 10 CD’s, gave over 100 concerts at Moscow Conservatory, toured over 50 cities in Russia and 12 countries in Europe in addition to Canada and Japan.

The authority of Director Ponomaryov as choir conductor has been recognized by musicians of Russia and other countries.  He was frequently invited to be a member and head of choir competition panels.

Music and the Choir became his life as he managed to create an organization that since has reached professional heights unbelievable for a children’s choir, a unique music school with amazing creative and truly warm environment.  It was thanks to him that many pearls of choir repertoire were converted and has become available to children’s choirs.  Thousands of people the world over have been introduced to Russian art and enchanted by it at VESNA concerts.

Alexander Ponomaryov created a happy childhood for many people, opened their creative potential and for some showed the way to their career goals.  For all people Director Ponomaryov was a prime example of professional dedication and commitment. In spite of a terminal illness he was with the choir till the last day of his life…

The monument to Aleksander Ponomaryov was unveiled on May 16, 2015 outside the main entrance to the Vesna School. The Decree to commission the statue had been signed in April 2014 by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin and the actual funds were donated by Vesna alumni, students and friends.

The monument was sculpted by Andrey Balashov, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, full member of the Russian Academy of Arts. He had previously authored such memorable landmarks as a monument to Shalyapin in Kazan, to Ulianov in Tara, to Talalikhin, Hero of the USSR, and others.

The monument depicts Mr. Ponomaryov as conductor greeting the Choir right before the actual music begins. It is this gesture that now welcomes all coming to the School and bids good-bye to those leaving.