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Victor Pokrovsky

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== Life ==
Victor was born on [[February 13]], 1897, as a first son of Priest Alexander Andreivich and Nadezhda Petrovna (nee Ismailov). His father was the priest at a church in the Suhaya Rika district near Kazan, Russia. The Pokrovskys were a priestly family. Their family name was Gremashkin, but during the time of Tsar Paul I of Russia, Victor’s priestly ancestor was given the family name of Pokrovsky by his [[bishop]] who visited his parish on the day of the Protection of the Theotokos (Pokrov).
Victor studied for four years at the [[Kazan Ecclesiastical Seminary]] before entering Kazan University in 1914. As a university student he sang with the Morreff Choir, which Mr. Koltchin (later choir director of Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco) also joined, and attended the conductor class at Kazan Hummert Music School. After two years of student life, he was called into the Army as an officer, but was released after the February Revolution. He then returned to the Kazan University for his third year.
After the Bolshevik coup of 1917, he was recalled to army service in 1918 into the White Army, to advance eventual to the rank of Captain. As the Red Army advanced, he was forced to leave Kazan and retreat with the White Army across Siberia. With the end of the Civil War, he ended up in Manchuria and was discharged on [[May 12]], 1923. Having lost everything including his family, he set to organizing a choir to earn a living. As Manchuria included a large Russian population prior to the war that supported and operated the Trans-Siberian Railway short cuts to Vladivostok, a Russian based life style was available for his choir to work in. Indeed, the Harbin Archdiocese was active, as the situation in Russia deteriorated, including supporting the [[Church of Japan]].
After the Great Kanto Earthquake of [[September 1,]] 1923 severely damaged the Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo, the then Archbishop Sergius often visited Harbin to obtain support for restoring the Cathedral. Amongst his activities, Archbishop Sergius was looking for a capable leader for the choir at the Cathedral. Among the candidates that the Archbishop interviewed he liked the music of Victor Pokrovsky who was directing the choir at the Holy Theotokos Church in Harbin. Invited by the Archbishop, Victor moved to Japan in 1924 to form a full-scale choir at the Holy Resurrection Cathedral and to introduce the new Russian masterpieces, such as those by Arkhangelsky and Kastasky.
For the next sixteen years Victor was deeply engaged in developing a first class choir and learning Japanese so as to translate and arrange the new masterpieces for the choir. During this time he found time to marry a Russian young lady, but again suffered tragedy when she died in child birth, leaving him a baby son to raise. A couple years later he again married a young lady from Harbin who was to give him two daughters.
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