The Yale Russian Chorus was founded in 1953 by Denis Mickiewicz, a student at the Yale Music School, and George Litton, president of the Yale Russian Club, at the height of the Cold War. With its unique repertoire of religious and secular music from Russia and neighboring lands, the Chorus quickly established a prominent place in the pantheon of Yale singing groups. It thrives to this day, transcending dramatic changes in the political climate.
Throughout its 60 year history, the Chorus has fostered international understanding. It pioneered the first person-to-person cultural exchanges, singing informal concerts on Moscow street corners in 1958. The Chorus has won prizes at international choral competitions, serenaded government leaders at international functions and recorded extensively. Chorus alumni feel a strong bond of loyalty and comradeship. Through their own organization, the YRC Alumni Association, Chorus alumni present concerts throughout United States and in November 2013 sang their 60th Anniversary concert at Yale's Woolsey Hall.
“For 50 years you have linked Russia and the United States, during which time you made 16 tours to the USSR. Thank you for this remarkable achievement, for your work in propagating the wonderful choral music of Russia and for your idea of achieving understanding between our peoples through music.”
- Mstislav Rostropovich
“My enthusiasm for the truly heroic work that the Yale Russian Chorus is doing is unbounded. The only tragedy is that we don’t have ten or fifty or one hundred choruses such as yours.”
- Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey
The YRC Alumni Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All Rights Reserved © 2017 - Yale Russian Chorus Alumni Association
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The YRC Alumni Association continues its long-standing dedication to preserving and presenting the Russian choral tradition to American and world audiences, in particular through the arrangements made by our founding conductor, Denis Mickiewicz. The YRC Alumni Association is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible and assist us in our mission of cultural diplomacy, needed now as much as ever. We thank all our generous supporters.