From Russia With Love

Madison’s own Russian Folk Orchestra will be bringing the sounds of Eastern Europe to the Midwest for their tenth anniversary concert on April 27. Madison Magazine asked the RFO’s conductor, Victor Gorodinsky, to share a few details about the concert. Q: How many musicians are in the UW–Madison Russian Folk Orchestra, and what instruments are included? A: Currently, we have thirty-three musicians. Most of them are UW–Madison students, although we do have a few members from the community. We use authentic Russian folk instruments—domras and balalaikas. We also use several accordions and bayans (accordions with buttons instead of piano keys in the right hand). The sound is very different; these instruments are unique, and they sound like no other ensemble. Although domras and balalaikas have only three strings, the sound in the orchestra is incredibly rich. Q: What selections will you be performing? A: We’ll be performing a wide selection of music. Of course, our emphasis is on Russian and other Eastern European folk music. But we will also feature a few classical selections and there will be a couple of surprises! Q: Are you doing anything special for this concert? A: We will feature several guest artists. One of them, Judy Sherman, is a Gypsy style singer from California, incredible voice, she will be singing with the orchestra as well as other solos. We will have another singer, a UW student Jackie King. Yet another singer, Lennart Bäckström, Baritone. We will also feature two UW School of Music professors, Marc Fink (oboe) and John Aley (trumpet). Finally, we’ll have a Russian folk dance group from Milwaukee. UW–Madison Russian Folk Orchestra Tenth Anniversary Concert Guest artists include Judy Sherman, Jackie King, Lennart Bäckström, the Kavkaz Russian Dancers of Milwaukee, and St. Mary’s Balalaika Orchestra.

Apr 27, 7:30p. $15. Mills Hall, Humanities Bldg., 455 N. Park St. Email vfgorodi@wisc.edu or check out the website https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/vfgorodi/rfo/10year.html for more information.

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