Famous performer of Russian folk songs and songs of Soviet composers. Laureate of the All-USSR competition of stage singers (1960).
Acclaimed Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialistic Republic (1967). People's Artist of the Russian Federation (1998).
Born in the village of Romanovka, Dmitrievskij district of the Kursk region. Lost his parents during WWII, and tried his best to get
into the army. Because of his young age he was a "son of the regiment" of the 105th Rifle Regiment of the 65th Army. Participated in
fighting and was at some point even in a reconnaissance team.
At some point during the war, by pure luck, he became a personal aide-de-camp of the legendary Soviet marshal Konstantin
Rokossovskij. At his very young age he already showed a great talent for singing, and was making appearances before the Red Army
soldiers, earning the nickname "The nightingale from Kursk". Later in his life, Ivan Surzhikov recalled this period of his life, saying: "That was the period when I've made the most important
decision of my life – if I will survive the war, I will become a singer".
And his dream came true. His talent didn't go unnoticed and his superiors sent him to study at the Warsaw Musical Academy, after
Warsaw was liberated. After he graduated from the academy, he started to perform leading tenor roles on the stage of the Warsaw
In 1955, he got back to the USSR and became a soloist of the Red Army Ensemble, and after leaving the army, a soloist of the Moscow
At the end of the 1980s, he became disenchanted with the rapid political and social changes in the USSR and left with his family
for Germany. Got back to Russia in 1996.