Leonid Leonidovich Bortkevich - pop singer, Honored Artist of the BSSR. For many years he was a soloist of the legendary Pesnyary ensemble. Laureate of festivals held in the USSR, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany. The songs performed by him: "Birch sap", "Belorussia", "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and many others were known throughout the country.
Bortkevich had no musical education, but his voice won over the head of the Pesnyary ensemble, Vladimir Mulyavin, who invited Leonid to his team.
Leonid was born in Belarus, in the city of Minsk, on May 25, 1949. He was a very late child in the family. The father died without waiting for the birth of his son, from the wounds received during the war, and the mother was forced to raise and support the child alone.
The boy became interested in music early, loved to sing, learned to play the trumpet, but was not going to devote his life to music. Possessing a natural voice, Leonid successfully performed in a children's choir organized at the local House of Pioneers, where he was taken in elementary school.
After leaving school, Leonid decided to get the profession of an architect, enrolling in a technical school. Studying was easy for him, he was one of the best students. His project for a cinema became a student's thesis, and later the basis for the construction of a building in Minsk.
In addition to his studies in architecture, Leonid continued to study music. At first he performed with the student orchestra, and then became one of the soloists of the Green Apples ensemble, where Vladimir Mulyavin saw him later. His beautiful voice and remarkable appearance conquered the girls, and while still a student, Leonid met his first love - Valentina. The romantic relationship lasted about a year, but after graduating from college, the young people broke up.
The beginning of the creative path
One of the performances of the ensemble, with which Bortkevich performed, was attended by the head of VIA "Pesnyary" - V. Mulyavin. Hearing Leonid's beautiful voice, Vladimir immediately invited the talented singer to come to him for an audition. Having sung several musical compositions written by Mulyavin, Leonid was immediately accepted into the legendary group. From that moment on, the creative biography of the future pop star and soloist of the ensemble began. At that time, Bortkevich was 21 years old, and fate really gave him a happy chance that influenced his entire future life.
Together with "Pesnyars" Bortkevich went on his first tour to the capital in a few days. Mulyavin wrote several new songs for the soloist, with which he went on stage. The success was huge, the audience immediately noticed and fell in love with the singer. After the Moscow tour, the ensemble set off on a musical journey through the cities of the Soviet Union and in each of them conquered the audience with its melodies, professionalism and amazing voices. A few years later, Bortkevich was already awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Byelorussian SSR.
After the first touring performances, Leonid brought home a huge amount of earned money. Recalling his first successes, Leonid said that he exchanged the first money he earned for small bills and laid them out on the couch at home to surprise his mother. Seeing a huge amount of money, and he earned about 4,000 rubles for the first time, my mother was in a state of shock, and Leonid, with great difficulty, managed to convince her that he really earned this money. This amount could well have been enough to buy a new car, but the family decided to make repairs, change furniture, buy the best TV and ensure a comfortable life.
Bortkevich and "Pesnyary"
Together with the team, Leonid performed at numerous festivals and competitions. They were invited to give concerts not only in the cities of our country, but also abroad.
In 1976 Pesnyary performed in the USA, where they gave about 150 concerts. Music critics and the public alike welcomed the Russian musicians, it was a real success for young musicians. They were offered a contract and a world tour, but due to the political situation of those years, "Pesnyarov" and Leonid Bortkevich were never released from the country.
The circulation of the collective's records was approaching 45 million. Their popularity was enormous, not a single group concert was complete without their participation. Performances on television and radio, recording records, creating new compositions and constant tours - the whole group lived in this mode, along with its main soloist - Leonid Bortkevich.
10 years after the beginning of his performances in Pesnyary, Leonid decided to continue his education and entered GITIS. He had to choose between touring and studying, and he chose the latter. In the same period, Bortkevich met Olga Korbut, a famous gymnast. They start a relationship and soon Olga becomes the wife of Leonid, and a few months later they leave for the United States for permanent residence.
But the singer's career in Pesnyary did not end there. Already living in America, Leonid invited Vladimir Mulyavin to visit. After a long conversation, Mulyavin persuaded Leonid to come to the country and again perform as a member of Pesnyary. Leonid agreed, and this became a new round in his creative biography. He returned to Russia, leaving his family, and began performing in the renewed Pesnyary line-up.
In the early 2000s, a misfortune happened - Vladimir Mulyavin died. A new leader was needed and Leonid hoped that he would take this place. But the decision of the Ministry of Culture was not in his favor, and the group was headed by Valery Storozhonok. Bortkevich did not find a common language with Valery and as a result left the band, soon founding a new group under the same name "Pesnyary" in order to preserve the legacy of Vladimir Mulyavin and the traditions of the ensemble.
Leonid's first wife is Olga Shumakova. At the time of their acquaintance in one of the touring trips of the ensemble, Olga was already married, but this did not stop Leonid, and he simply beat off his beloved girl from her husband. They signed secretly, because the singer's mother, with whom he used to consult, did not approve of his choice. A son was soon born in the family, but after a few years the couple broke up. Perhaps the reason for their final divorce was Leonid's new love - Olga Korbut.
Leonid also met Korbut on tour. Olga performed with the collective, showing her gymnastic number. Their frequent meetings soon grew into a romantic relationship, then into love, ultimately Leonid proposed to Olga. So Korbut became Bortkevich's second wife. They have a son who has already made parents grandparents three times. Olga and her son live in America, where Leonid often comes to visit his grandchildren.
Today Leonid has a new family. Tatiana Rodianko became his third wife. They have a son who is 14 years old.
Leonid has another illegitimate child, whom Leonid knew from the very beginning, but the singer did not have a relationship with his former lover, from whom a son was born, and she forbade him to see the child.