The Washington Balalaika Orchestra – Concerts with Balalaika, Domra, Flute and other Russian Folk Instruments

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
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

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


Playlist with the concert videos and some other balalaika videos:

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