Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra

The sound of balalaikas, domras, and other instruments will be heard at the Theatre at Washington, Virginia, on Sunday afternoon, March 9, beginning at three o’clock, when the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra performs folk music of Russia and its neighbors.

Founded in 1988, the WBS Orchestra was created to educate, entertain, and preserve Russian folk and classical music. Using traditional folk instruments, such as the balalaika, domra and gusli, the musicians have played for audiences from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center. Comprising some sixty volunteers, they are now the largest folk orchestra in America. About half that number will be coming to “Little” Washington on March 9 with a program of lively and beautiful Russian folk music. The shimmering sound of the balalaikas is a hallmark of their performance.

Svetlana Nikonova is conductor of the Orchestra. A professional domra soloist, Nikonova received her musical training at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. She went on to play with the world-renowned Andreyev Balalaika Orchestra for several years prior to coming to the United States in 2003.

There will be two soloists at the upcoming concert: Evgenia Tochenaya, a graduate of the State Academy of Music in Kiev, Ukraine, will play the domra; Andrei Saveliev, who is considered to be the foremost balalaika soloist in the United States, is a graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tickets for the Sunday afternoon performance are $25 for adults, $10 for students under 18. Reservations are recommended. To make reservations, or to obtain a copy of the Theatre’s new spring schedule, phone (540) 675-1253, or send email to info@theatrewashingtonva.com, or write to The Theatre, P.O. Box 322, Washington VA 22747.