The Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Russian Folk Ensemble was founded in 1978. The Ensemble is consists of current and former students of the Conservatory. Upon graduation many of its members became professional folklorists or leaders of folk music ensembles. The group is engaged in reconstruction and performing ancient Russian folk tradition: singing, dancing and playing instruments in the authentic style, as learnt from Russian villagers. The leader of the group is a professor of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Natalia Gilyarova collects folklore from different regions of Russia (Ryazan, Penza, Vladimir, Moscow, Lipetsk).
For more than 30 years she has gathered about 30000 examples of vocal and instrumental folklore. Her dissertation was devoted to «Folk music culture of Mechshera». Proff. Gilyarova is the author of sheet-music «New Year congratulations songs of the Ryazan region», «Children's folklore of the Ryazan region», some outher articles. Proff. Gilyarova is the author of the TV programs «The spring-mora», «Ryazan wedding ceremonies», the author a lot of radio programs.
She has participated in the recording and composing of mane gramophone records: «The folk calendar», «The anthology of Russia folk music songs of the Central and Volga regions», «A pearl of the North», «What a light chamber we have», «Songs of Kutukovo hill», «Songs of the Mechshera region», CD «Klucha, klucha, gold klucha». Ensemble's programs are based on the material gathered from the Ryazan, Penza, Lipetsk, Briansk and Volgograd regions. The Mechshera tradition is of particular interest as it joins the roots of both Slavonic, Russian people and Ugro-Finnish cultures.
The Ensemble can offer variety of programs — from a few songs to a whole concert. Among the programs are «Russian Yuletide», «Shrovetide», «Wedding ceremony», also concerts with demonstrations of the video material. Ancient instruments like kugikli (Russian Pan-flut), balalaika, saratovskaya harmonika and ritual percussion instruments are used in the performances. The repertoire of the group includes about 200 lyrical, wedding and calendar songs, round dances, games, prigovores, zaklichki (appeals to pagan Gods), divinations and spiritual songs.
The Ensemble participates regularly in concerts and festivals both in Russia and abroad. It has performed at the Conservatory of Moscow and St. Petersburg, in Colomn Hall of the Union Building Moscow and in the chapel named after Mikhail Glinka, St. Petersburg. It participated in the International Folk Festivals “Kizhi–89”, “Baltica–93”, in the concerts and processions of the Carnival “The King of Arts”, “Nice–94”.
The ensemble was in Hungary two times. In 1995 it took part in European Day of Music in Budapest. In 1996 it took part in Folk Dance Festival in Bergen (Norway) and gave few concerts in Switzerland. The Ensemble repeatedly took part in the International Folk Music Festival “Pokrovskiye kolokola” (Vilnius, Lithuania). In April, 2012 the Ensemble gave concerts in Japan (Tokyo, Ichikawa).
The Ensemble performs in authentic Ryazan and Penza costumes which have a predominance of red trough out. Panyova, Zapan, Navershnik, beat jewellery — all parts of traditional folk dress — contribute to bright and picturesque folk show. The Ensemble recorded several cassettes and CDs: “Isn’t it in our garden?”, “The folk and instrumental music from Schatsk-region”, “The folk romance”, “Revived voices of the Ryazan land”.