Anton Alekseevich Grigoryev

30 January 1926 Kiev – 30 November 2001 Moscow

Anton Alekseevich Grigoryev was born into a large family of a railway factory workers. His father had a good voice, he liked to sing and passed this passion to his son. From early childhood, Grigoryev sang Russian and Ukrainian folk songs. In school he stands out, and his singing brings him awards in children's musical competitions.

After finishing school, he tries to get accepted to an army tanker school, but the allowance committee doesn't accept him because of his poor eyesight. After working in different menial jobs, he is nevertheless drafted in 1943 into the 10th tank corps stationed near Kiev, which belonged to the Second Ukrainian Front. In the army, Grigoryev plays the guitar and sings for his fellow soldiers.

He is discharged from the army in 1946 and begins to study at the Workers Conservatory, in the class of A. V. Pavlovskaja. In 1947, Grigoryev starts to study in the vocal department of the Kiev conservatory, in the class of great former singer M. V. Mikisha. Mikisha strongly believes in Grigoryev's ability to become a serious singer, and shows great support. Grigoryev is an outstanding student and receives the N. V. Lysenko grant. He is already drawing a lot of attention with his soft, lyric voice and beautiful timbre. Meanwhile, Grigoryev gains a lot of experience in the opera studio of the Kiev conservatory and expands his repertoire.

In 1951 something extraordinary happens – Grigoryev, who is just a student, is invited to perform the role of Lenskij on the stage of the Kiev Opera Theater.

In 1953, after graduating with honors from the conservatory, Grigoryev is invited to work in the Kirov Opera Theater, but instead he goes through a listening session in Moscow, and is accepted to the troupe of the Bolshoj. His first role at the Bolshoi was the role of Triquet in "Evgenij Onegin" in October 1953. In March 1954, he is appearing in "Evgenij Onegin" again, but this time as Lenskij. He would appear in this role alternating with such great singers as Sergej Lemeshev and Ivan Kozlovskyj. In 1958, Grigoryev records Lenskij for the opera film "Evgenij Onegin" (director R. I. Tikhomirov). Lemeshev would help the young singer a lot, and work with him on different roles, for example Fra Diavolo (1955) and Werther (1957). The great baritone Pavel Lisitsian would also help him, and said about him: "Grigoryev had a beautiful lyric voice of full diapason, even in all registers, big, ripe and flowing".

In 1957, Grigoryev was the laureate of the All-USSR Vocalists Competition, and got the first prize at the World Youth Festival in Moscow.

Towards the end of the 1950s, Grigoryev appears in a series of leading lyrical tenor roles: Alfred, Duca, Lykov, Indian Guest, Vladimir Igorevich, Bajan, and others. He was at his best in Russian repertoire, but his Western repertoire was also extremely impressive – he was brilliant in the roles of Werther, Alfred, Duca, Faust.

During his 30 years at the Bolshoj (1953–1983), Grigoryev sang more than 30 roles. With the Bolshoj, he went on tour abroad: Romania, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Italy, Poland, Canada, Bulgaria. Grigoryev also gave concerts, where he would perform not only Russian and Western classic repertoire and folk songs, but also songs by contemporary Soviet composers: T. Khrennikov, J. Shaporin, K. Molchanov, S. Tulikov, V. Muradeli, A. Kholminov and others. On film, he was Andrej Khovanskij in Khovanshchina (1959), and a nihilist in Katerina Izmajlova (1980).

From 1976, Grigoryev taught at the A. V. Lunacharskij Institute for Theatrical Art as a professor of solo singing. Grigoryev is buried on Vagankovo Cemetery.

I wish to thank Igor Milner for the biography.
Anton Grigoryev singsSnegurochka: Polna, polna chudes (Nature is almighty)

Anton Grigoryev sings Boris Godunov: Lejtes, lejtes, sljozy gorkie (1)

Anton Grigoryev sings Boris Godunov: Lejtes, lejtes, sljozy gorkie (2)
In RA format

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