The Chorus of the St Petersburg State University was founded in 1889 and is one of the oldest amateur choruses in Russia. Over the years the ensemble has been directed by Maximilian Steinberg, Samuil Maykapar and Alexander Gauk. In 1949 Grigory Sandler was appointed Director of the chorus, a post he held for forty-five years. During this period the musicians appeared in over one thousand four hundred concerts, regularly performing at the finest venues in Leningrad, Moscow and other cities in the Soviet Union as well as abroad. In 1994 Sandler's pupil Edward Krotman was appointed Artistic Director of the chorus. Krotman is assisted in his work with the chorus by young chorus masters – Alexander Chaplinsky, a graduate of the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, and Pavel Palastrov, a graduate of the Novosibirsk State Glinka Conservatoire.
Today the ensemble has over a hundred singers. The chorus' repertoire includes Mahler's Eighth Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Mozart and Verdi's Requiems, a cappella miniatures, folk songs and much more besides. The chorus has given the first performances in Russia of several works by acclaimed contemporary composers – Martín Palmeri's Misa Tango and Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man - A Mass for Peace, Requiem and the oratorio The Peacemakers.
The ensemble frequently works with the orchestras of the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Theatre and tours to France, Poland, Spain, Italy and the USA. The musicians took part in a Papal mass at the Vatican and, in 2015, they appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York. The chorus holds the title of People's Ensemble and has been a prize-winner at All-Russian and international competitions.
The Academic Chorus of the Moscow State Lomonosov University is the oldest amateur choral ensemble in Russia; in 2015 it celebrated its 240th anniversary. The chorus has over a hundred members, among them students, post-graduate students, staff and graduates from the university's various faculties as well as amateur choral singers. Roughly eighty singers form the main concert body of the ensemble. The chorus' Artistic Director and Principal Conductor is Mirza Askerov, Honoured Cultural Worker of Russia.
The chorus' repertoire includes more than two hundred works by Russian and European classical composers, folk songs in different languages and works by contemporary composers.
Over the years the chorus has collaborated with outstanding figures in Russian music. Tchaikovsky dedicated the work Blessed Is He Who Smiles to the chorus, based on verse by Konstantin Romanov; the acclaimed Russian singer Leonid Sobinov began his artistic career with the ensemble.
On numerous occasions the musicians have appeared at venues including the State Kremlin Palace, the Great and Rachmaninoff Halls of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, the Svetlanov and Chamber Halls of the Moscow International House of Music, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions, the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, the Great Hall of the St Petersburg State Philharmonic, the Primorsky State Theatre of Opera and Ballet and the Brucknerhaus in Linz.
The chorus holds the title of People's Ensemble.