Balalaika Fantasie

Balalaika Fantasie

BandWorldFolk

The Southeast's only Russian folk instrument sextet performs Russian and Eastern European folk music on balalaikas, domras and bayans (Russian button accordion), featuring prize-winning virtuosi and soloists from Russia and Ukraine.

Biography

The Balalaika Fantasie musicians draw their inspiration from their life-long passion for Russian folk music and their diverse cultural backgrounds. Angelina Galashenkova-Reed (www.angelinareed.com) has toured the world as a soloist with the Andreyev Russian Folk Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Russia, performing with them at Carnegie Hall’s 100th anniversary. A winner of Russia’s prestigious “Cup of the North” competition, she holds the title of “Laureate of International Competitions of Professional Folk Artists.” Immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, she has had numerous solo appearances, most notably at Spivey Hall, and is the concertmaster of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra (www.atlantabalalaika.com). David C. Cooper has been recognized by Russian virtuosi for his artistry on the balalaika, an instrument that is studied in Russian music conservatories at the same high level as instruments of the violin family. Pennsylvania-born, Mr. Cooper is an authority on Russian folk instruments (he plays them all), studied conducting and performance at the Glier Institute of Kiev, Ukraine, and is the artistic director and conductor of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra. Mr. Cooper’s diverse talents also make him in demand in jazz, Klezmer and steel drum ensembles. Alla Mulvehill’s musical passion makes the distance between her home in Trafford, Alabama and rehearsals in Atlanta negligible (in her opinion)! The Ukrainian-born bayan soloist received her music degree from the Kiev University of Arts and Culture, and has performed and taught bayan, music theory and piano throughout Ukraine. Ms. Mulvehill immigrated to the U.S. in 2003, and has been a member of Balalaika Fantasie and the Atlanta Balalaika Society since 2007. She frequently performs in festivals and concert series, with a vast repertoire of folk, classical and popular music. Greg Carageorge has been a professional contrabass balalaika and string bass player for over thirty years, performing in numerous ethnic groups such as Klezmorim, Troika Balalaikas, Demo and the Greek Islanders, and The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival. He was the leader of the house band at New York’s Russian Tea Room, and has appeared with numerous folk, bluegrass, and jazz ensembles. Irene Perloff McCullough and David McCullough have performed in Russian folk music ensembles in Boston and Detroit and Atlanta, are members of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra, and perform together as a balalaika and guitar duo. Balalaika Fantasie may be contacted via email at balalaika@mindspring.com and dcoop80@hotmail.com or at (404) 288-9512.

Discography

A CD will be released in the future. A sample from Balalaika Fantasie domrist Angelina Galashenkova-Reed's CD can be heard at http://home.att.net/~domra_mandolin/Turkish_rondo.htm
Selections from the Atlanta Balalaika Society's CD (directed by David C. Cooper) can be heard at:
http://atlantabalalaika.com/hear_us_play.htm

Set List

Set lists include arrangements of Russian, Eastern European and Gypsy music, as well as classical and modern selections. Sets can range from 30 to 60 minutes, and entire performances can be longer. Set lists may include domra solos ( "Ochi Chornye," "Concerto for Domra," N. Budashkin), bayan solos ("Karelian-Finnish polka," V. Gridin), and balalaika solos ("Russian Tunes," Risol-Gorodovskaya), as well as ensemble arrangements of traditional folk tunes ("Tosca Po Rodinya") and classical pieces ("Sabre Dance," A. Khatchaturian).