Serge Jaroff

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Serge Jaroff (actually: Sergei Alekseyevich Sharov , Russian Сергей Алексеевич Жаров ; born March 20 . Jul / 1. April  1896 greg. In Makaryev , Oblast Kostroma , Russian Empire ; † 5. October 1985 in Lakewood , New Jersey , USA ) was an American choir director of Russian origin.


Jaroff studied at the Synodal Academy in Moscow. After graduating, he worked as a singing teacher at a secondary school . In 1920 he founded the Don Cossack Choir Serge Jaroff in an internment camp near Istanbul , which consisted of interned officers from the Cossack division of the Russian army . The first professional appearance took place in Vienna in 1923 .

Jaroff worked as a conductor and arranger on the artistic work of the choir, whose repertoire was based on Russian sacred and secular vocal music as well as military and folk music and was particularly successful in the USA and Europe between the 1930s and 1950s . Jaroff received US citizenship in 1939 .

He died at the age of 89, four years after the dissolution of his choir, at Paul Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood, New Jersey and was buried in Jackson in the churchyard of St. Mary's Church.

The Don Cossack Choir was re-established a few years after its dissolution under the direction of one of its members, Wanja Hlibka, and has since borne the name of its founder again.



  • Emilian Klinsky: Forty Don Cossacks are conquering the world. S. Jaroff and his Don Cossack Choir . Matthes-Verlag, Leipzig 1933 (new edition: 2015).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. , accessed May 5, 2018.
  2. Serge Jaroff, 89, Head Of the Cossack Chorus (English) on, accessed May 5, 2018.
  3. obituary in the New York Times (English).