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BELARUS’ HERITAGE: Vladimir Mulyavin and legendary Pesnyary

BELARUS’ HERITAGE: Vladimir Mulyavin and legendary Pesnyary
26 Jan 2016

He was not born in Belarus. However, the Belarusian music of the 20th century is unimaginable without this eminent personality. Vladimir Mulyavin created Pesnyary, the most famous band in Belarus and the USSR, and led it to worldwide fame. He gave a new sound to old Belarusian songs. The tunes he wrote and brilliant arrangements by other composers made poems by Belarusian poets world-famous.

The band Pesnyary was founded on 1 September 1969. Its legacy comprises dozens of popular songs, opera parables, theatrical concerts, prizes of prestigious international contests and festivals. Pesnyary was the first Soviet band to tour the United States in 1976. The folk-rock sound and unusual repertoire with many Belarusian language songs conquered the hearts of many. Mass media compared Pesnyary with The Beatles. They say the Liverpool Four of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison spoke highly of the powerful voices and style of the Belarusian band...

For decades Pesnyary was a hallmark of the Belarusian music, bringing together outstanding singers and musicians of different generations. The history of the band has had its "star lineups", and "the golden age" and "legendary hits". Original costumes became part of the image: long coats with Belarusian ornaments, noble robes, sashes... During the concert to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, Vladimir Mulyavin came out on stage of the Summer Amphitheater Vitebsk wearing an ascetic costume of a warrior in chain armor and sang the touching Malitva (Prayer) to the music by composer Oleg Molchan and the lyrics by People’s Poet Yanka Kupala.

In May 2002 Vladimir Mulyavin got into a bad car accident. He was virtually immobile for more than half a year. On 26 January 2003, two weeks after his birthday, he passed away. Years after his death, his talent and art heritage is still loved and appreciated not only in Belarus but also in many countries of the world.

The musician was awarded the honorary titles of Belarus, Poland and the USSR. He was given the Francysk Skaryna Order. Vladimir Mulyavin had his star added to Moscow’s Alley of Fame in 2001. The Pesnyary founder was the first Belarusian artist whose name was perpetuated, posthumously, in the Alley of Stars in Vitebsk, the host city of the Slavonic Bazaar. One of Minsk avenues and the National Center of Music Arts were named after Vladimir Mulyavin…

Vladimir Mulyavin’s birthday (the musician would have turned 75 on 12 January 2016) will be one of the key celebrations during the Year of Culture in Belarus. Events to mark the famous singer’s anniversary will include numerous concerts, new expositions in the Vladimir Mulyavin Museum of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Hall, the new TV show "As Long As We Remember" and the re-edition of the book Vladimir Mulyavin. The Tunes of Life, a big tribute concert, a theater play and an exhibition at the international festival of arts Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk

Archival photos of Vladimir Mulyavin and the Pesnyary band, the most famous songs and interesting facts in our photo gallery.

Pesnyary presents their new concert program Through the War, 7 June 1984
Vladimir Mulyavin
Vladimir Mulyavin and Viktor Vuyachich
Vladimir Mulyavin at the Slavonic Bazaar festival, July 1994
Alla Pugacheva and Pesnyary
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