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Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov was born in Rostov on the Don and studied composition, polyphony and conducting at the Gnesin Sate Conservatory and the Moscow Institute of Culture. His post-graduate studies included a master class with Leonard Bernstein in 1988. He served as Artistic Director and Manager of the Moscow State University Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir and has conducted in the Soviet Union, West Germany and Poland. He established a reputation during the Communist era for innovative programming in spite of the political risks involved. In 1990 he moved to the United States, where he has served as Choir Director of Christ the Savior Church, San Francisco and Music Director of Slavyanka Men's Slavic Chorus. He was Professor of Liturgical Music at [[St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania)|St. Tikhon's Seminary]], South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He is currently Music Director at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Jersey City, New Jersey .