Biography & achievements
9 Grand-prix and first places
is Sasha's count at international and Russian vocal contests from 1996 to 2006. Altogether there were 16.
See as a list
4 octaves & 6 notes
Is the range that Sasha sings in comfortably: from c to a4 (C3 to A7). And with some warming up she can span more than 5 octaves.
Born on the 23rd of May 1984 in the city of Ivanovo in the family of composer Alexey Rakhmankov and orchestra conductor Olga Rakhmankova. Sasha's grandmother – Elizaveta Petrovna Sakurova – was actress at the Musical theatre (soprano). Sasha is the youngest child in the family. Her elder sister is a singer and vocal teacher graduated from the Gnesins' Music Academy. Sasha's uncle is the renowned jazz saxophonist Alexander Sakurov.
The family legend has it that Sasha started singing at the age of 18 months – even before she started to talk. When she was two Sasha formed a duo with her four year old sister Katya. When she was 5 Sasha started to sing in the choir of the Transfiguration Cathedral where her mother Olga was choir-master at the time. At the same age Sasha started to take lessons at the children's stage studio “A+B”. Within a year some of her pupils formed a vocal quintet dubbed “Singing Bells” where the girls performed cover versions of songs by famous authors and groups, mostly in English. In September of 1990 Sasha and the Singing Bells first appeared on a big stage in Ivanovo. In 1991 Sasha joined one of the city's lyceums and a musical school at the pianoforte class taught by a renowned local teacher.
In 1995 the Singing Bells went on a Mediterranean cruise participating in the children's creative Merry Notes festival. During the cruise Sasha met one of the consultants of the Morning Star international television contest and was invited to participate after an audition by the organisational committee.
In 1996 after winning the Morning Star's Superfinal Sasha was awarded the first national prize for children's creativity called “Vocation” in the nomination “Best stage singer of the year”. In that year Olga Rakhmankova also created a group called “Live Water” where Sasha became the lead vocalist. The group took part in a lot of Russian and international contests and festivals: in 1997 they became the “Revelation of the year” at the Slavic Bazaar international festival, later they took the Grand-Prix at the Rock February contest, in 1999 they took another Grand-Prix in the Togliatti hit show contest.
In 1999 Sasha graduates in advance from her lyceum and joins the conducting/choir department of Ivanovo's State Musical College run by Eduard Gurevich – the creator and director of the “Retro” jazz orchestra. That year Sasha won the Grand-Prix at the international contest “Voices of the 21st Century”.
In 2000 Sasha won several more contests, including the Superfinal of the “Morning Star” (for the second time), and passed all the stages of the national eliminatory of “Slavic Bazaar in Vitebsk”, becoming the favourite contestant from Russia. On the 7th of May of 2000 Sasha, then 15, was one of very few artists performing in the Kremlin at the inauguration of the Russian president Vladimir Putin. From the 9th of May she took part in a series of concerts on the Red Square dedicated to the 55th anniversary of the victory in World War II.
In June 2000 Sasha took the first prize at the Slavic Bazaar splitting it with Moldavian singer Nelly Cobanu. Sasha was the youngest singer to ever participate in the Slavic Bazaar – she was just 16.
Sasha's first solo performance took place in her home town of Ivanovo in 2001. The next year she effortlessly joined the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art (RATI Gitis) in the class of Valery Garkalin – a famous Russian theatre actor. Among the plethora of fine pedagogues and teachers Sasha had the chance to learn form was the renowned master of the voice Vladimir Khachaturov.
After passing the admission exams in the fall of 2003 Sasha won the first prize in the Windrose international contest and was proposed a part in the upcoming musical production of “The Witches of Eastwick” by a famous Russian musical producer. She had to turn down this proposition for the sake of education.
While studying at Gitis in 2003 Sasha won the “First Russian contest of stage artists”, sharing the first place with Olesya Slukina. In 2005 Sasha won the first prize at the “Songs Of The World” international festival in Moldavia.
In 2006 Sasha graduated from the Academy summa cum laude. In the Spring she was invited to perform at the opening ceremony of the XVII Kinotavr international film festival in Sochi.
That year Sasha met a genius drummer – Rishad Shafi, the creator of the legendary turkmen group “Gunesh”. Sasha joined Rishad in his project “Songs without words”, for which a plethora of Russian pop stars recorded tracks. In this unique project Sasha invented and sang all the back-vocals and several solo tracks. Sasha and Rishad were working on a new vocal-rhythm cycle of drums and voice. On the 4th of November 2009 Rishad suddenly died. We cherish the memory of the Master.
In the Summer of 2007 Sasha performed at the openings of three different cinema events: the Moscow international film festival (with the actress and singer Miriam Sehon and the “Sirin” orthodox choir), the “Mirror” film festival dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Andrei Tarkovsky and the “KinoYalta” film festival.
During a year and a half from the end of 2006 until mid 2008 Sasha worked with the unique Russian singer Sergey Penkin, performing several solo songs on his concerts. Invited by Mikhail Shvydkoy Sasha starred in several TV shows on the STS and Kultura (Culture) Russian national channels. From 2007 to 2010 She worked with composer Boris Zuev on his “Aheshi” project. She is working with Alexey Soloviov on his “Raketa Orchestra” project. In 2010 Sasha started her own project called Wonderband. A selection of tracks by these wonderful musicians is available in the Music & Video section of this site.
Sasha is one of the most sought-after voices in advertisemnt in Russia. She has recorded adverts for such brands and organisations as Coca-Cola, IKEA, Head&Shoulders, Ehrmann, Tropicana, Campina, Procter&Gamble, UNICEF and many others.
Sasha's voice can be heard in ads and jingles on at least four Russian national television channels, including the First and the Russia channels. Sasha works with composers Boris Zuev (Aheshi), Oleg Litvishko (First channel, Park Production), Alexey Soloviov (Raketa Orchestra), Evgeny Isenin (Aheshi, “Gitis”) and DmitryFuntikov (Fita Music).