The Mariinsky (Kirov Ballet) Theatre
THE ANDREYEV IMPERIAL RUSSIAN ORCHESTRA
20 March 1888 saw a dazzling performance at the Noble Assembly by eight musicians who were known as the "Circle of Balalaika Player Enthusiasts" under its founderVasily Vasilyevich Andreyev, heralding the birth of the first Russian folk ensemble (today the Andreyev Orchestra).
Andreyev understood before many others that the unique, special timbre of the balalaika was inherently linked to Russian folk music and that with the aid of the balalaika and other Russian instruments he could save gem-like Russian songs from oblivion.
Numerous tours throughout Russia and abroad bear witness to the high professionalism of the Andreyev Orchestra, such as its appearance at the Carnegie Hall in the USA to mark one hundred years since it was founded. "A perfect, incomparable ensemble of musicians", wrote one music critic after the concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington and Carnegie Hall in New York. The orchestra has frequently appeared in Japan, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Romania and France. In 2000 EMI-Classics (UK) issued a CD recording of the ensemble. Audiences everywhere can note the orchestra´s fondness for Russia and its people, which should come as no surprise as the heart of the ensemble beats with the soul of Russia.
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