The Sydney Balalaika Orchestra

Riverside Archives

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Riverside Theatres and Musica Viva Australia

The Sydney Balalaika Orchestra

Dates 17 June 2006

From across the wild expanses of Russia, the villages, rugged mountains and icy tundra comes music from the very soul of the people. This is the folk music of Russia, the melancholic melodies and lively rhythms of village dances played on traditional instruments. The balalaika has its origin in the oriental domra brought to Russia by the Mongols in the 14th century. By the mid-18th century the balalaika was the most popular instrument amongst the Russian people.

The Orchestra draws from a repertoire of classical and traditional music and though some composers are known, Mussorgsky, Glinka and Budashkin, other names are lost in antiquity. The Sydney Balalaika Orchestra was founded more than 30 years ago by its current Director, Victor Serghie. The musicians come from a diverse range of ethnic origins including Armenian, Croatian, Dutch, Serbian, Russian and Australian. All agree that the Sydney Balalaika Orchestra is more than music, it is a celebration of life.

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