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Arizona Balalaika Orchestra Performance

Sunday, April 14, 2019 9 Nisan 5779

2:00 PM - 4:00 PMSy Juster Auditorium






The ARIZONA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA will perform  at Temple Emanu El on Sunday, Apr. 14 at 2 pm. There is a $10 donation at the door. Founded in Tucson almost 40 years ago by Mia Bulgarin Gay, the concert will feature gypsy style vocalists Natalia Neazimbyetov and Guy Velgos, musicians in full costume playing on imported Russian instruments---the triangular balalaikas, the rounded domras (resembling the mandolin),  accordions and woodwinds, and the exotic harp-like 'gusli.'  Besides traditional Russian folk melodies, the concert will also include Moldovan, Jewish and Ukrainian songs.

The balalaika (as well as the domra) comes in several voices, and was lifted  from its rural peasant origins to the concert stage by V. V. Andreyev of St. Petersburg in the 1880's. Immediately popular, his ensemble toured Russian cities and European capitals, even America and Africa. After the Bolshevik Revolution, these instruments were studied in the major conservatories of the USSR, with the Ossipov Orchestra of Moscow sent out to tour the world, while the Andreyev Orchestra of then-Leningrad stayed home. Russian immigrants and refugees kept the music alive in Germany, Sweden,  France, Australia, Japan and the US (wherever they lived). There are currently about 12 orchestras and ensembles in America, all interconnected for almost 45 years through the BDAA (Balalaika and Domra Association of America). Russian character dance headed by the brilliant choreographer Moyseyev and many Red Army Choruses enjoyed similar popularity. 

Sunday's concert will include many songs familiar to Americans---Moscow Nights, Kalinka and Maurice Jarre's popular Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago. Bring your family and friends and support this non-profit community folk orchestra of Arizona.

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