Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
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Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
21 May 2020

The Central Military Band of the Russian Ministry of Defense at the Great Patriotic War

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Listed among the world’s best military ensembles, the Central Military Band of the Russian Ministry of Defense has proved to be the gold standard of a music band among the Russian Armed Forces, as well as the national heritage of Russia.

The band was established on September 27, 1927 following the order N516 issued by the Revolution Military Council of the USSR, and belonged within the People’s Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs of the Soviet Union. This year the Central Military Band marks its 93d anniversary.

The ensemble never seized performing. Even during the Great Patriotic War the band’s brigades staged over 500 concerts on the battlefields and about 300 — onstage of various concert venues; 150 times it appeared on the All-Union radio, making 34 recordings. All in all, the band registered 1500 performances during the war [according to the History of Military Music in Russia, v. Tutunova].

Military musicians frequently went straight to the battlefields, to the very front edge, to award units their Colors and state honors, as well as stage concerts. The band performed during seeing-off ceremonies at collecting points and railway stations, and along the entire construction period of the defense line around Moscow.