Mikhail Davydovych Ksendzovskij

Ksendzovskij was born on September 29th, 1886 in Balta (Ukraine); died November 22nd, 1963 in Leningrad. His sang in an Odessa choir from 1901 on, when he was merely 15 years old. After starting a solo career first in opera, but from 1912 exclusively in operetta, he could be found at theatres in Odessa, Tbilisi, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, in which latter city (Leningrad, by then) he also owned and managed his own operetta theater (the "Musical Comedy") in the 1920s. He seems to have been a stage personality, and pretty popular at the time. In 1928, all theaters in the USSR were nationalized. Ksendzovskij tried to circumnavigate expropriation of his theater; his attempt failed, he was arrested and banished to Solovki island in the arctic White Sea, an infamous detention center which was actually the model for Solshenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago. He was allowed to return in 1932, became again a member of an operetta company, and from 1936 of the "Music Hall" Theater in Leningrad. He sang so many concerts (about 3000!) for the Soviet soldiers in WWII that he ended up highly decorated with military and civil medals.

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Mikhail Ksendzovskij sings Der Zigeunerbaron: Kto nas venchal, with A. G. Pekarskaja in Russian
In RA format
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger and Yuri Bernikov for the biographical notes.
Source for the recording Russian Records, incredible website owned by Yuri Bernikov.

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