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Celebration of Heritage Concert: Celebrating The Arizona Balalaika Orchestra

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Founded in 1980 by Russian born Mia Bulgarin Gay, the The Arizona Balalaika Orchestra grew out of a student ensemble in the UA Russian Department, then one of the largest in the US. It’s first public concert was in the crowded Student Union Cellar. In 37 years, the ensemble has varied in size, but all the cheap souvenir balalaikas have been replaced by quality instruments in 4 voices of the peculiar Russian triangular model, plus 3 voices of the mandolin-like domras, the exotic harp-like gusli, plus accordions and woodwinds. The concert will feature traditional Russian folk music, some classical composers, as well as several Jewish numbers. Vocalists include the gypsy singers Natasha Neazimbetov and Guy Velgovich.

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