Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Balalaika: A Resurgence Of Russia’s Musical Tradition

San Francisco Public Library’s International Center, in conjunction with the Consulate General of Russia in San Francisco, and the Russian Cultural Centre of Washington, D.C., presents Balalaika: A Resurgence of Russia’s Musical Tradition, a cultural and musical program on Monday, April 20. The bilingual program and performance will be held in the Koret Auditorium of the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., from 2 to 4 p.m.

Balalaika is the term for a stringed instrument that is the symbol of Russian folk culture. The traditional balalaika’s popularity peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries and was referenced in the works of Russian classics including Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. A vanishing folk tradition, it is now being revitalized in the modern balalaika performance incorporating elements of folk, popular and classical music.

The Library program will feature the popular folk music group Balalaika from Syktyvkar, Russia. The group presents an imaginative musical fusion that spans from Russian folk songs to Tchaikovsky to country and western.

All programs at the San Francisco Public Library are free and open to the public.

For balalaika lovers, the San Francisco Public Library offers the following scores:

Mel Bay's Complete Balalaika Book: A Comprehensive Guide & Tutor by Bibs Ekkel. (Mel Bay Publications, 1997).

Balalaika Playing Technique: Scales And Exercises: Method For All Levels [Техника игры на балалайке : гаммы и упражнения : методическое пособие для ДМШ, ДШИ, ССМШ, музыкальных училищ] compiled by I. Inshakov, A. Gorbachev (Muzyka, 2006).

Russkiĭ Orkestr: Pesni Sovetskikh Kompozitorov [Русский оркестр : песни советских композиторов] sostavil i orkestrovai A. Dorozhkin. (Gos. Muzykalʹnoe Izd-Vo, 1947) - a collection of songs arranged for an ensemble of domras and balalaikas.

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