In the early 1970s, Moscow mathematician Yu. Pukhnachov, Arkhangelsk
musician V. Lokhansky, and musicologists L. Blagoveschenskaya and
A. Yareshko of Novosibirsk and Saratov respectively, each independently
began to study Russia's campanological culture.
Further reading: "A
Tree with Deep Roots: The Bells and Chimes of Russia",
by Vladimir P. Korzh, Director of AKIR
Mr. Vladimir P. Korzh, AKIR's Director (left),
with Dr. Alexander Yareshko, President, on the zvonnitsa at
a recent exhibition of bells sponsored by AKIR.
Mr. Vladimir P. Korzh, Director of AKIR,
conferring prizes on the lead bell ringers at the recent festival.
The man on the left is the Patriarchal Zvonar, Mr. Igor Konovalov.
The top bell-ringers of Russia making beautiful
By 1989, their efforts had led to the creation of the Campanological
Arts Association of Russia (the Assotsiatsiya Kolokol'nogo Iskusstva Rossii, or "AKIR"), which since then has brought over 150
architects, metallurgists, bell-makers, acousticians, campanologists,
professors, historians, ethnographers, zvonars (bell-ringers), and
other professionals together for the resurrection and advancement
of Russia's millennial bell culture.
The Association is now comprised of over 150 scientists, musicologists,
artists, bell-ringers, and foundrymen from all over Russia
including the Patriarchal Zvonar himself, as well as the principals
of Americas Blagovest Bells.
AKIR has emerged with patriarchal and governmental endorsement
as Russias primary and oldest bell testing, certification,
research, and training organization in fact, if you think
about it, the foremost in the whole Orthodox world!
AKIR engages in the following activities:
- publishes scientific and cultural works on campanology;
- identifies and conserves ancient bells of cultural value,
- arranges the casting and installation of new bells;
- organizes schools for the training of bell-ringers, and
- produces exhibitions of bells, concerts of bell music, and campanological
It links traditional Russian professionals and bell ringers
with traditional campanological associations in other countries
as well. AKIR is working hard to restore Russias glorious
bell-music in thousands of churches, actively seeking the return
of stolen bells to their rightful homes and making up for the
damage done during the Soviet Era.
Blagovest Bells is proud to be AKIRs North American Representative,
and we offer only those award-winning bells which have AKIRs
endorsement and recommendation. But thats not all!
We offer, and strongly recommend as part of every large
proposal, AKIRs direct selection, testing, and certification
of your bells, as well as architectural consultation, and training
of your ringers on your powerful, new, and unique musical instrument.
AKIRs certification will provide the certainty that your
specific bells have been tested for hidden flaws or defects and
approved by Russias main bell testing and certification association.
This seal of approval will add to the prestige and "presence"
of your bells in Americas developing bell-ringing community.
We can facilitate communication with AKIR during your architectural
design process, so that your architects develop plans that specifically
envision the unique styles and needs of Russian bell ringing. When
your bells arrive and youre ready to install them, we can
bring an AKIR specialist to you, to help hang your bells, set up
your ringers podium with its pedals and harnesses, and train
your ringers in the art and traditions of Russian-style ringing.
Architectural consultation, to be conducted from Russia, will include
determination of sizes and tones, assistance with drawings and plans
for your tower, for the installation and configuration of your bells,
and the design of your ringers podium, footpedals, and harnesses.
For bell selection, AKIR will send a metallurgist, acoustician,
patriarchal zvonar, and assistant to physically select, test, and
certify your specific bells and to ensure the very best combination
In addition, AKIR can send an expert from Russia to help with the
actual installation and setup. Or, alternatively, Blagovest Bells
can arrange for a visit from an American teacher who will get you
Even if you are ordering only a small set, you can rest assured
that the bells youre getting are recommended by AKIR
and Blagovest will be happy to provide advice and answer any questions
you might have about your bell-ringing plans. And we can rely on
AKIR for any answers we dont have!
Quality, Tradition, Authenticity: Only Blagovest Bells offers
you Russias top award-winning bells the finest Russia
has ever made, at the best possible price plus the
full spectrum of traditional campanological support! Call us today!
AKIR's website is