Irina Vasiljevna Raspopova

Irina Vasiljevna Raspópova was born in Voronezh, South Russia. Her father’s roots go back to the Don Cossacks.
As a child she sang in the family ensemble with her mother and sisters. She was educated as a specialist in regional styles of Russian traditional music. She graduated at the Moscow Institute for Culture as a conductor of folk groups. She researched the use of voices as well as the repertoire in villages in the region where she was born.Irina conducted the prize-winning ensemble Zhelannushka, which performed in the movie ‘Singing Russia’ (from Mosfilm) about the life of Mitrofan Pjatnitskii. Her professional folk ensemble Ivan da Mar’ja performed in several foreign countries, such as the Netherlands. She gave courses in Finland at the Sibelius Music Academy and the faculty of etnomusicology of the University of Tampere.

In October 1993 Irina came to the Netherlands from Russia together with Dr. Howe, who was invited to teach at the Agricultural University of Wageningen. In November of the same year she started to give lessons at the local School for Music. Soon after that she gave concerts with her best students of the first courses. This initial ensemble, consisting of Russian and Dutch semi-professional singers, performed authentic songs and rituals from Russian villages.

During the Eleventh European Ethnomusicological Seminar in Rotterdam, September 1995, this ensemble showed a few rituals from Russian villages to a select group. April 1997 and again in 1999 her Dutch ‘Russian peasant’ ensemble performed for specialists from all over the world during the “Giving voice” conference in Wales (UK). In 1998 Irina cooperated in the Dutch documentary “The Song of Sadness”. In 2003 the Dutch boroadcasting organization VPRO showed a documentary with Irina’s song ‘little nightingale’.  Beginning with the year 2000, Irina regularly travels to Russia with her ensemble Zarjanka to perform and gather new (old) songs of the country. At the moment Irina performs with her 3 ensembles, and also as a soloist, accompanied by an accordeonist Grigoriy Bogomol’nyi.

Grigoriy Semjonovich Bogomolnyi


Grigoriy Semjonovich was born in Moscow (Russia).
He graduated at the conservatory of Moscow, section folkinstruments, specialisation accordeon and he was laureated in 2 contests. He also studied in the Cultural Institute as a conductor of amateur choirs.
He is specialised in the organisation of large cultural manifestations and was appointed at the concertorganisationMosconcert in Moscow where he worked with several creative collectives. He was appointed as director of the theatre V. L. Doerov.
Since 1994 he has lived in the Netherlands where he works for different organisations both as a solo performer and accompanying other performers. He plays Russian, Jewish and international music.
Since 1995 he has been the permanent companion of Irina and her 3 choirs as a accordeon and harmonica player. In Irina´s folkgroup `Zarjanka` he leads the orchestra of folkinstruments.