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Russian Singer Dmitry Pokrovsky Dead at 52

July 1, 1996

MOSCOW (AP) _ Singer Dmitry Pokrovsky, whose folk ensemble spread traditional Russian music beyond his country’s borders, has died at age 52.

The Culture Ministry said Monday that Pokrovsky died of a heart attack Saturday night in Moscow.

His Pokrovsky Singers, who performed with traditional instruments in Russian village garb, were recognized internationally and recorded ``Earthbeat″ with the Paul Winter Consort.

They toured abroad numerous times, including a trip to California earlier this year.

``What I remember most about Dmitry is when his group was warming up, they sounded lackluster and when he added his voice they became vibrant and exciting,″ said Robert J. Lurtsema, host of a mostly classical music program on WGBH radio in Boston.

``It makes it seem so hard to believe he could have died so young, because he was so vibrant,″ he said.

Pokrovsky, according to information from Lurstsema, graduated in 1972 from the Moscow State Musical Institute and founded his ensemble of about a dozen performers the following year. They have since performed more than 2,000 songs, including Russian village music, religious music and modern works.

Pokrovsky lectured at the Smithsonian Institution and Princeton University, and in 1988 received the Government Award, the Soviet Union’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

Besides the Paul Winter Consort, his group has performed with Jack Langstaff’s Christmas Revels _ a 16-performance production in Cambridge, Mass., every year.

No information was immediately available on Pokrovsky’s survivors or funeral arrangements.

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