“Such a measure of true Russian joy, delight, sadness and cheeky slyness!” − Nasha Zhizn (Our Life)
“The best Russian folk orchestra outside Russia.” −Alex Yaroshenko,Moscow, Russian Gazette (Rossiyskaya Gazeta)
The Sydney Balalaika Orchestra with its traditional folk instruments and costumes takes audiences on an unforgettable journey to the heart and soul of Russia. The arrangements of classic Russian folk songs by musical director Victor Serghie and cimbalom player Lucy Voronov are simply breathtaking in their beauty, power and expression.
Musical director Serghie’s free and easy banter builds a bridge of friendship between the performers and the audience. The 27 member orchestra including
singers reflect an eclectic mixture of cultural origins −Armenian, Belorussian, Canadian, Chinese, Danish, North American, Swedish, Serbian and Ukrainian
as well as Russian and Australian, all united by their passion for Russian folk music. Several soloists are acknowledged virtuosos on their instruments.
Along with regular performances in and around Sydney, the Orchestra has performed in association with Musica Viva Australia, at many major folk music festivals
and on interstate tours, and by invitation has toured in China, New Zealand and Russia on four occasions, including in Siberia, and in Moscow and St
In 2000 the Orchestra released its first CD, Old Linden Tree, which was later released under the ABC Classics label. Mail Troika, Dawn of Russia and Rassipuha followed. Their fifth and most popular CD, Russian Tapestries (2014), was produced at the world-class Studio 301 in
Russian folk music
Russian folk songs and dances performed over many centuries express an almost infinite variety of themes. Some are inspired by the calendar and celebrate
sowing and harvesting and other farming rituals timed to the seasons. Village and family life, such as birth, death and marriage, are a rich vein of
inspiration. Ballads about heroic characters are very popular, as are songs about nature's majesty. Songs of birch forests and lakes, the icy tundra
and the vast, wide steppe reflect the depths and dimensions of the Russian soul.
Having lasted over 1500 years from the first singing Slavs who settled in modern Russia, it is clear that the traditions of Russian folk music are still alive and well. From achingly tender folk songs to dizzying tempos of instrumental tour de forces, an afternoon with the Sydney Balalaika Orchestra will sweep you away.