Artistic director, the Sirin Ensemble of Old Russian Sacred Music.
Singer, folklore researcher, multi-instrumentalist, composer, conductor, teacher.
One of the best performer of spiritual poems in Russia, the founder and permanent Artistic Director of the ensemble "Sirin", the folklorist, for many years engaged in the study of the peculiarities of the authentic singing of Russian medieval music and folk songs.
He graduated from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music as a choir conductor, worked in the First Studio of the Folk Music Ensemble directed by Dmitry Pokrovsky, then – in the Studio of Pokrovsky Ensemble under the MSU. He took part in expiditions to Cossacks of the Don Region and masters of folk singing of the Russian South, he studied the culture of Old Believers and traditions of spiritual poem performance. Gradually, based on artistic principles of traditional Russian culture he designed his own system of working with sound, rhythm and movement. In 1989 he founded his ensemble "Sirin". The ensemble sings Old Russian liturgic chants of the 15th–18th centuries: echoes, road and non-octoechos (Demestvenny) chants; line (Strochnoi) and echoes (Znamenny) polyphonies, early partes, monastery chants, partes concerts. Spiritual poems have a special place in the repertoire of the ensemble.
Mastering a unique technique of sound production and a special interpretation of ecclesiastical medieval music, participants of the ensemble strive to embrace the nature, principles of development and interconnection of spiritual traditions of various cultures. Andrei Kotov's authorial programs are notable for refined musical direction, work with space, scientific validation of principles of work.
"Sirin" often cooperates with composers and directors whose creative manners are close to the style of the ensemble productively. The following pieces were created specially for "Sirin": The Lamentation of Jeremiah, The Beatitudes, Games of Humans and Angels by Vladimir Martynov; Music of the Christmas Day, The Word by Pavel Karmanov; music for The Overcoat by Alexander Bakshi and so on. The ensemble took part in theatre projects, such as The Lamentation of Jeremiah, Mozart and Salieri (directed by Anatoly Vasilyev), The Overcoat (directed by Valery Fokin), A Ridiculous Poem (directed by Kama Ginkas). The ensemble tours in Russia and abroad a lot. Over recent years only, the collective has visited Estonia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, France, England, China (it was a special guest of the Eighth Choral Congress of Asian Countries in Beijing), India, Brazil, America and Poland.
The ensemble was a participant of the First European Symposium of Choral Music in Ljubljana, the World Symposium on Choral Music in Rotterdam, the Vieux Lyon Festival and the Sacra Music Festival in Marktoberdorf and Maastricht. Its portfolio includes such festivals as the Festival d'Ile de France, the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music (UK), the Cork International Choral Festival (Ireland), the Festival of Sacred Music of Fribourg (Switzerland) and the Fez Festival of Sacred Music (Morocco), the Christmas Festival in Bangkok, the Europalia Festival (Belgium) and many others.
All these years Andrei Kotov managed to combine constant tours and recording sessions with research work, theatre projects, pedagogics. Andrei Kotov holds workshops and trainings for professional performers in Russia and abroad. As a recognized maitre of contemporary ethnic music, Andrei Kotov develops national traditions in new forms of contemporary music combining authentic folklore, classics, modern ethnic jazz, old Christian melodies and authorial compositions in projects of Ethnosphere masterfully.