9 String Theory
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9 String Theory

Atlanta, GA | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF | AFM

Atlanta, GA | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2012
Duo World Acoustic




"9 String Theory Performs Sunday at Temple Israel, Greenville SC"

He strums classical guitar. She plays a Russian folk instrument, the domra.

Together, their instruments have nine strings, so perhaps it’s only natural that guitarist John Huston and domra player Angelina Galashenkova-Reed would call themselves 9 String Theory.

The Atlanta-based duo performs Sunday, 3 p.m. at Greenville’s Temple of Israel.

The group’s program traverses a wide musical terrain: from classical works by composers such as Niccolo Paganini and Domenico Scarlatti to gypsy folk music and a bit of jazz.

“We’ve got Argentine tangos, Russian folk music, some Appalachian music and Gershwin,” Huston said, speaking by phone from Atlanta.

“We find that if we can jump countries and continents and styles, that gives a program variety and it never get boring,” he said.

9 String Theory is performing in Greenville as a part of the Temple’s Music on Sunday chamber music series. Each concert is followed by a complimentary wine-and-cheese reception.

The idea of a guitar-and-domra duo is highly unique. In fact, 9 String Theory may be the only duo of its kind that performs on a regular basis.

But the combo makes perfect sense, said Huston, a former guitar professor at Georgia State University. The highest string on the guitar is the same as the lowest string on the domra.

“Her instrument picks up where mine leaves off in range,” Huston said. “The idea is that we create a new nine-string instrument. The guitar and the domra are perfectly situated next to each other.”

When the two are playing a piece by a classical composer such as Scarlatti, there’s a sense, because the domra is a folk instrument, that the Italian composer is being reinterpreted through a Russian voice.

“There’s an international flavor,” Huston said. “That’s why we love what we’re doing. We’re a trans-continental duo.”

Huston said the two musicians like to think of themselves not as a classical ensemble but as a world music group.

“As performers we really try to find the best music which has a timeless quality that appeals across the ages,” Huston said. “There’s a depth and intensity to it, but we balance our programs with heavier and lighter music.”

Galashenkova-Reed studied at conservatories in the former Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) before emigrating to the U.S. in 2001.

Russian conservatories include instruction in folk instruments, and Galashenkova-Reed became a virtuoso in the classical mandolin as well as the domra.

Huston and Galashenkova-Reed have worked together as a musical duo for three years.

Because almost no music exists for the guitar-and-domra combination, most everything the two play are arrangements they’ve created themselves.

“We’re touring and playing shows and building a following for this music,” Huston said.

For the latest in local arts news and reviews, follow Paul Hyde on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7. - The Greenville News, Greenville SC

"9 String Theory does the Impossible: Sandy Springs GA"

9 String Theory appeared Christ Chapel at Holy Innocents’ on Sunday, November 9, 2014 as part of the inaugural season of the new Friends of Music Concert Series. Their engaging program was beautifully played and conceived, with repertoire ranging from transcriptions of classical repertoire to tango to Russian folk music. The intimacy of the
duo—a collaboration of classical guitar and domra—was a perfect match to the splendid acoustics of the Chapel, which seats only 90.

And, while the music was both exquisite and exciting, guitarist John Huston added to the program and connected to the audience with his informative, verbal descriptions of each piece, for which he clearly has a passion. Domra player Angelina Galshenkova also spoke effectively about the folk music from her native country of Russia.

Clearly, these two musicians each possess an extraordinary level of virtuosity and, together, bring to their concerts a well-honed musical result. In particular, one would be hard-pressed to find any voice of the de Falla transcription—originally for full symphony orchestra—missing. It was all there! As one audience member said, “9 String Theory
does the impossible”.

This performance helped to set the standard for future presentations on the Friends o Music at Holy Innocents’ series.

Fortunately, the artists of 9 String Theory live in Atlanta and there should be many opportunities to hear them locally in the metro area. Bravo! - David Brensinger, organist and choir master, Sandy Springs GA

"9 String Theory at St. Pius X High School, Atlanta GA"

9 String Theory came to St. Pius X Catholic High School last month, and astonished students, parents, and faculty. John and Angelina’s consummate professionalism and passion for music has had and will have a lasting effect on those privileged enough to engage with 9 String Theory.

The three performances that followed were flawless, exciting, and virtuosic. Throughout the concerts, Dr. Huston took the opportunity to educate the audience as to the background and history of many of the works the duo performed. I have had many prestigious guest artists in the past, but it is rare to have an artist who is both highly personable and incredibly talented. The audience was continually engaged and fully enthralled by the performances.

Overall, I would highly recommend 9 String Theory. The duo has the impeccable ability to not only display their artistry, but to also verbally communicate their passion for music to the audience. Whether on the stage or in the classroom, 9 String Theory excels at all they do.

Brion Kennedy, M.Ed.
Fine Arts Department Chair / Director of Guitar
St. Pius X Catholic High School - Brion Kennedy, M.Ed. Fine Arts Department Chair


The Friends of Music audience was treated to a unique combination of Russian and American "native" instruments on Sunday, Nov. 13, in the Community Center. These were played by two masters of the instruments: Angelina Galashenkova on the domra and John Huston on the guitar.
Their program included a pleasing combination of selections from the late 1700s through to the mid-20th century. Among these were pieces by familiar composers, such as Boccherini, Paganini, Ravel, and Hoagy Carmichael. Many countries were represented as well. All of these gave the performers opportunity to display their musical expertise and the versatility of their instruments.
Throughout the concert, Huston revealed bits of the composers' lives and circumstances of their compositions, influences, styles. Ms. Galashenkova related some points about the domra and her years of training.
A standing ovation brought an encore from the multi-expansions over three thousand years of the various gypsy movements across the world.
Wickenburg Sun ~ Nov. 13, 2016 - Wickenburg Sun ~ Nov. 13, 2016

"9 String Theory at Temple Israel: Greenville SC"

What terrific success yesterday! A small, but wildly enthusiastic crowd stood and cheered at intermission and again at the end of the concert, and again after the encore. What great artists and musicians they are -- Angelina and John -- and he is such a personable and charming presence that the audience absolutely loved him. And what artistry! They are truly a striking duo, with talent and artistry to burn. Visiting artists rarely sell more than a couple of CDs after a concert here, but they sold about 20, and that was nearly a third of our audience. It was a busy time of year, with a lot going on, and many of our regulars were absent, do we were slightly under our normal numbers, but the sanctuary has wonderful acoustics (as they may report to you) and the audience loved them. One patron sitting in front of me, turned and said "now Jack, don't be offended, but this is the best concert we have ever had on our series). He is an ophthalmologist who is also treasurer of the Temple of Israel Board, so that was absolutely great to hear!!!

I gave John a copy of the Greenville News article and it was a terrific interview he did with Paul Hyde, who has been a great supporter of our small series. The committee is in serious discussion right now about our future, but I am hoping we will be in touch early in the New Year and I know the committee wants to have John and Angelina back again. Everyone at the reception told them that :-)

Thanks again for you help and cooperation.

Jack - Jack Cohan


9 String Theory

  • Released: 2015
  • Format: CD
  • Producers: Angelina Galashenkova and John Huston


Feeling a bit camera shy


The finest instrumental music from around the world finds a fresh new voice in 9 String Theory: the unique musical collaboration of Russian domra virtuoso Angelina Galashenkova-Reed and award-winning American classical guitarist John Huston.  9 String Theory performs music of great variety and intense virtuosity, evoking musical traditions both ancient and modern, sharing with audiences the world’s diverse musical culture.  

Angelina Galashenkova is among the greatest living virtuosos of the Russian domra (the ancient 3-string lute of Russian folk and Gypsy music).  Born in St. Petersburg, at the age of eight she began musical studies at the St. Petersburg School of Music and continued her training at the Mussorgsky College of Music and the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow.  Angelina won First Prize in the Russian National Domra Competition in 1990 and First Prize in the International Folk Artists Competition in 1991.  She has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, and the United States (including her Carnegie Hall debut in 1991).

John Huston has distinguished himself as one of the most exciting and expressive guitarists of his generation.  Guitart International has praised him as "a formidable talent”, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram described his “considerable energy and impressive virtuosity", and La Stampa has called his playing "...mesmerizing."  The accolades for Mr. Huston's performance are numerous, including First Prize in the 2001 Aranjuez Strings International Guitar Competition.  John has played concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, and Italy and performs frequently with the Atlanta Opera, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Balalaika Society.  John earned his DMA in guitar performance from the University of Georgia.

Band Members