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Lev Leshchenko
Лев Лещенко
Born Lev Valerjanovich Leshchenko
February 1, 1942(1942-02-01) (age 79)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Alma mater Russian Academy of Theatre Arts
Occupation Singer
Title People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1983)
"Prityazhen'ye Zemli"
Sample of "Prityazhen'ye Zemli" by Lev Leshchenko (1980)

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Lev Valerjanovich Leshchenko (Russian: Лев Валерианович Лещенко; born 1 February 1942), is a Russian singer, who was best known for his rendition of "Den Pobedy" and the 1980 Summer Olympics closing ceremony theme song "Do svidanja, Moskva".


Lev Leshchenko was born on 1 February 1942 in Moscow, Soviet Union. His father, Valerjan Andreevich (1904–2004), was a Red Army officer who was at war outside of Moscow. He was accorded with medals for participation in the Second World War. His mother, Claudia Petrovna Leshchenko (1915 to 1943), died shortly after Leshchenko was born.[1] His grandparents, along with his stepmother Irina Pavlovna Leshchenko, whom his father remarries in 1948, brought Leshchenko up in Sokolniki, Moscow. It was during his childhood when he was influenced from classical music and theatre, and began performing popular songs of Leonid Utyosov.[2][3]

Between 1960 and 1959, Leshchenko worked as a stage helper at the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre, and before being conscripted into the army in 1961, he worked as an adjuster at a precision measuring instrument factory. Leschenko served in the mechanical vehicle division of the Soviet Army, positioned in the German Democratic Republic. On 27 January 1962, Leshchenko (then a private) became a soloist within the Soviet Red Army Ensemble, and received the offer to remain in the army. Leshchenko accepted every role offered to him by the ensemble, namely singing in a quarter, conducting concerts and even reading verses, where it is often said to have begun his entertainment career. At the same time, he was preparing for theatrical examinations for Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (abbreviated as GITIS), the most respected theatrical school of the Soviet Union, which he passed and was successfully admitted to in September 1964.[4]

Leshchenko began touring with concert bands, visiting some of the more isolated parts of the country. In 1969, Leshchenko was admitted as a member of the Moscow Operetta Theatre. He experienced with many roles, but was aware of his musical gift, and was constantly seeking for soloist acts. On 13 February 1970, having successfully gone through a contest held by the state radio station, Leshchenko became a solo vocalist for the Soviet state radio station.

In 1975, Leshchenko performed "Den Pobedy" (an immensely popular Soviet song dedicated to the Victory Day, which was initially disliked by the authorities due to the unconventional music style). His rendition has become by far the most successful.[5] in 1999 Leshchenko got a star on the Star Square in Moscow.[5]

In March 2014 he signed a letter in support of the position of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on Russian annexation of Crimea.[6] For this he was banned from entering Ukraine.[7] Crimea is since March 2014 under dispute by Russia and Ukraine.[8]

Popular Songs[]

  • "Solovyinaya roshcha" ("Соловьиная роща")
  • "Proshay" ("Прощай")
  • "Prityazhen'ye Zemli" ("Притяжение Земли")
  • "Den Pobedy" (День победы)
  • "Ni Minuty Pokoja" (Ни Минуты Покоя)
  • "Rodnaya zemlya" ("Родная Земля")
  • "Roditelskiy dom" ("Родительский дом")
  • "Ne plach' devchonka" ("Не плачь, девчонка")

Honours and awards[]

President Dmitry Medvedev awards the 2nd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland to Leshchenko, 22 February 2012.

  • People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1983)
  • Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1977)
  • Honoured Artist of the Transnistria (2015)
  • People's Artist of the South Ossetia (2010)
  • People's Artist of the North Ossetia-Alania (2015)
  • Honorary Citizen of Kursk Oblast (2012)
  • Lenin Komsomol Prize (1978)
  • Belarus president award Through Art - to Peace and Understanding (2012)


External links[]

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