Tag: domra

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The Washington Balalaika Orchestra – Concerts with Balalaika, Domra,…

Today I want to present the Washington Balalaika Orchestra. The concert given on Oct. 9 has been recorded and is available in five youtube videos.
The orchestra was founded more than 20 years ago and is directed by Svetlana Nikonova since 2003. Today the Washington Balalika Society has the biggest balalaika orchestra in the USA, with more than 60 members.
The Washington Balalaika Society was founded in 1988 by a group of Washington-area musicians interested in studying and performing the music of Russia, Ukraine and eastern Europe on traditional Russian folk instruments — the balalaika, domra, bayan and related folk wind and percussion instruments. The Society’s initial membership of eight has grown to more than sixty, and the WBS Orchestra is now the largest of its kind in America with musicians at all levels from beginner to professional, from teens to 80s in age.
Artistic Director Svetlana Nikonova, who joined the WBS in 2003, has brought new depth of artistry and performance to the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra. A graduate of one of Russia’s preeminent postgraduate conservatories with a degree in conducting as well as a former professional orchestra musican herself, she understands the individual needs of the orchestra’s members and has a keen appreciation for the preparation and presentation of our repertoire to the Washington area’s discerning audiences.
In 2009 the 20th aniversary was used to found a Children’s Music Academy to be able to educate young players.
The Washington Balalaika Society launched the Children’s Music Academy in February of 2009 as part of its 20th Anniversary celebration. This is an exciting opportunity for all children, ages 7 to 14, to learn to play Russian folk instruments, such as the balalaika, domra, bayan, and related folk wind and percussion instruments. Rental instruments are available.
Two other concerts given in November in Rockville and in Arlington have also been recorded and can also be found on youtube:
The Washington Balalaika Society presented “Balalaika Across the Steppes” on November 20, 2010, in Rockville, MD, and November 21, 2010, in Arlington, VA. The two concerts are complete, broken into seven sections each. For information on the Washington Balalaika Society, go to www.balalaika.org
Enjoy the balalaikas, domras and other folk instruments of the  Orchestra of the Washington Balalaika Society!

Washington Balalaika Orchestra at Washington, Va – Part 1

  • Lyrical Suite – Budashkin
  • Russian Winter

Washington Balalaika Orchestra at Washington, Va – Part 2

  • Solovey – Amy Prussing Lochass – Flute

Washington Balalaika Orchestra at Washington, Va – Part 3

On October 9, 2010, members of the Washington Balalaika Orchestra performed at the historic Theater at Washington, Virginia. Under the direction of their artistic director, Svetlana Nikonova, they performed to an appreciative audience. The video of the concert is in five parts. For information on the orchestra, go to www.balalaika.org

Washington Balalaika Orchestra at Washington, Va – Part 4

  • Gopak from Gayane

Washington Balalaika Orchestra at Washington, Va – Part 5

  • Ah, vy seni – Andre Saveliev, Balalaika
  • Korobeiniki

More information about the Washington Balalaika Society

Homepage: http://www.balalaika.org/

Playlist with the concert videos and some other balalaika videos: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F79AE6C940A86A44

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Wolga Virtuosen Quartett

The Wolga Virtuosen Quartet was one of the groups at the Eurofestival Zupfmusik in Bruchsal that got a lot of applause for their performance of typical Russian folklore. It was a lot of fun to watch the players play and act. The group was composed of prim-domra, alto-domra, bass-balalaika and the accordion instrument bayan.

Ther is one video that gives some impressions of a typical performance by this group that plays well known classical works by Russian and European composers and virtuous arrangements of Russian folk music. In their arrangements they use all the possibilities of the typical russian instruments domra, balalaika, bayan and others.

Wolga Virtuosen Quartett

The Wolga Virtuosen do also play in other groups, you can find all information about composition, instruments and music on their homepage (with a nice intro too):

A second video shows differrent groups, ballet dancers, the audience talking about some typical Russian food that was served during the beak, with some information in German and shows some very special miniature accordeon instruments:

Weltmusik: Wolga Virtuosen verzauberten das Publikum


Playlist Wolga Virtuosen Quartet


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Watermusic – Georg Friedrich Händel on plucked instruments

Last year was the 250th year after the death of Georg Friedrich Händel, and so Händels music was present in the media.

Händels music can also be played on plucked instruments, here I have collected some interesting examples:

Suite by Händel played by the Mandolin Orchestra Het CONSORT

Evan J. Marshall, Solo Mandolin: Handel’s Pastorale

One of the popular works by Händel is the Fireworks Music. Here is an interesting arrangement with 8-string guitar and domra:

Handel – Music for the Royal Fireworks – Abaca String Band

This is the Bourrée, La Paix: Largo alla siciliana, and La Réjouissance: Allegro – from George Frideric Handel’s “The Music for the Royal Fireworks (HWV 351)”, written in 1749 to celebrate the signing of a peace treaty ending the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

Originally for Orchestra, Handel also did an arrangement for Violin and Harpsichord.

The Abaca String Band was founded in 1991 by Andrew Schulman. The members of the group are Schulman, Music Director/8-String Guitar, Robert Zubrycki/Violin, Tamara Volskaya/Domra-Mandolin, Julie Goodale/Viola, Bradley Lovelace/Double Bass.

Recorded at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, San Diego, CA, on October 22, 2008.

Music arranged by Andrew Schulman
Videography by Gary Stoefen


Finally I have a version of Händels’ Water Music:

Handel – Water Music – Suite in F maj – Alla Hornpipe


Additional infromation

Evan Marshall: http://www.solomandolin.com/

Orchester Corelli: http://digilander.libero.it/OrchestraCorelli/

Händel Haus – German Site of the house of birth of G. F. Händel with a lot of resources: Händel-Haus Halle

Related post:



Stephen Lalor – Domra / Mandolin / Steve Lalor…

Stephen Lalor will attend the Eurofestival Zupfmusik in Juni in Bruchsal. Here is the only video with Stephen Lalor that I have found:

Mandolin Solo Domra Stephen Lalor “Kolo Kolo”

World music mandolin domra solo Russia Volatinsky Trio Australia

I have found some other Videos with a singer and guitarist named Steve Lalor – but obviously this is another person:

He Was A Friend Of Mine (Bob Dylan) – Steve Lalor & Paul Gillingham

Steve Lalor and Paul Gillingham sing Bob Dylan’s “He Was A Friend Of Mine” at the NW Folklife Festival (Seattle), Stan James Tribute Concert, May 24, 2009. Sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society.

And finally a family video – no need to watch the pictures – but listen to the music: Song – “Auld Lang Syne” by Steve Lalor.

More information about Stephen Lalor can be found in my newer post: