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THE WORLD-FAMOUS ORIGINAL
Don Cossack Chorus Serge Jaroff

Paul Molchanoff
Member of the Chorus 1921 1930

"The Choir, it has been a large part of our life and hearing them sing still brings tears to our eyes. On two recent trips to Russia we heard the same songs being sung in the most wonderful of places."
Michael and Natalie Bell, New South Wales / Australia, 7.1.2000
Paul Molchanoff(1895 1973) was one of the original members of the Choir. With the remains of the White Army he was in the camp of Lemnos, where were performed the very first concerts 1921. On early records his tenor voice may be heard. 1930 Paul settled down in Australia as a farmer.

Paul Vasilievitch Molchanoff was born in Vanarven on the Vetluga river in the government region of Kostroma (Russia) on the5th September 1895. As a boy he sang in the church choir of his little village, but had no formal training in singing.

With the remains of the White Army 1921 he came in the camp of Lemnos (Greece), where he was one of the men, who together with Serge Jaroff formed a choir.

Paul sang in the tenor register of the Choir. On tour in Germany, he met Ludmilla Well. She had been born in St.Petersburg in 1901. Paul and Ludmilla were married on the 13th July 1928 in Dresden.

Paul left the choir to go to Australia. Together with Ludmilla he arrived there in 1930. They came in the same ship as the Don Cossacks Michael Bogdanoff and his wife Hilma, Alexej Gorbow and another member of the Choir.

Paul and Ludmilla settled down at Dural, an outer farming district of Sidney. They had three children, Peter, Natalie and Cyril. At evenings, when the family heard the old records, Paul sometimes said: That is me you can hear, it was a part where the tenor came through the rest of the choir.

On retiring from his farm, Paul moved to Turramurra, a suburb of Sidney. There he died on the 2nd February 1973.


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