Photo Credit Washington Balalaika Society
Chief Financial Officer
Washington Balalaika Society
7421 Calamo Street
Springfield, Va. 22150
Orchestra (could include soloist): $3000 - $7,000
Ensembles: $750 - $2000.
Transportation: travel costs are dependent on size of group, length of concert and distance from northern Virginia, please inquire.
Throughout the year
Orchestra: 55/60 armless chairs, microphones, amplification, 3 risers (6 ft. orchestra), lighting
Ensembles: armless chairs, microphones, amplification
All ages; special programs may be available for children.
Description: The Washington Balalaika Society orchestra performs the rich musical heritage of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe on traditional folk instruments and in costume. It is the largest orchestra of its kind in North America and has been performing in the northern Virginia/Greater Washington area since 1989. Conductor and Artistic Director is Svetlana Nikonova, a graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. WBS Balalaika Concertmaster Andrei Saveliev, also a graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, is an eminent balalaika soloist and was designated as a 2015 Virginia Folklife Master Artist.
The orchestra’s repertoire includes the classical Russian composers, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Borodin, Gliere, Mussorgsky as well as traditional Russian, Ukrainian and Slavic folk songs and dances. A soloist often performs with the orchestra. An announcer describes the instruments and provides ‘short vignettes’ on the musical selections. The instruments are demonstrated and audience members are invited to the stage to meet musicians.
The orchestra’s unique sound, or “shimmering” effect, is produced by the rapid plucking of the strings of balalaikas, domras and gusli which are augmented by woodwinds, bayan (accordions) and percussion. WBS audience comments: ‘as good as entertainment gets,’ excellent performance, lovely evening, musicians really enjoy performing together.”
Programs for children’s classes can be provided; young people, ages 12 and 13, are members of the orchestra.
Washington Balalaika Society orchestra concert featuring Peter Omelchenko, domra virtuoso with Moscow’s Osipov Orchestra (June 2016).
Washington Balalaika Society orchestra concert featuring Russian Soprano Olga Orlovskaya (November 2015)