“The Alexandrov Ensemble is an official army choir of the Russian armed forces. Founded during the Soviet era, the ensemble consists of a male choir, an orchestra, and a dance ensemble.
The Ensemble has entertained audiences both in Russia and throughout the world, performing a range of music including folk tunes, hymns, operatic arias and popular music. The group’s repertoire has included The Volga Boatmen’s Song, Katyusha, Kalinka and Ave Maria.
It is named for its first director, Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov (1883–1946). Its formal name since 1998 has been Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army named after A. V. Alexandrov (Russian: Академический ансамбль песни и пляски Российской Армии имени А. В. Александрова, Akademichesky ensemble pesni i plyaski Rossiyskoy Armii imeni A. V. Alexandrova), shortened to Academic Ensemble (Russian: Академический ансамбль, Akademichesky ensemble) on second reference. The Alexandrov Ensemble and the MVD Ensemble are the only groups with the right to claim the title “Red Army Choir”.
On 25 December 2016, 64 members of the ensemble were killed when the Russian military aircraft on which they were travelling to perform for troops crashed into the Black Sea.”