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Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra - I. Orlova

Fellow music lovers!

Welcome to the web site of the Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra. The Orchestra was created twenty two years ago in Los Angeles by Emanuil Sheynkman, a celebrated musician and brilliant arranger who became the orchestra's first music director. The orchestra's repertoire includes some of the finest examples of East European folk and popular music, as well as a wide variety of Klezmer, Gipsy, Mexican, and many other traditional tunes, and popular classical works.

The instruments in our orchestra are unique. These include the domra, a stringed instrument with a thin, fretted neck and round body which first appeared in written records at the end of 15th century; the balalaika, the triangular-bodied instrument well known to Western audiences from the film Doctor Zhivago; the bayan, a member of the accordion family popular in Europe; the gusli, a variation of the zither; and a number of percussion instruments such as the spoons, treschotki, rubel etc. Combined with flute, oboe, trumpet, trombone, bassoon, instruments traditionally used in symphonic orchestras, in colorful orchestrations and arrangements, they are capable of creating a wonderful, dynamic sound.

And we are an orchestra in the oldest sense of the word: a group of friends who share the same passion - music! Our soloists and musicians represent some of the most renowned musical colleges and conservatories in the world, including: the Colburn Conservatory of Music, the UCLA and USC departments of music, the Kiev Conservatory and the Cal-State Northridge Department of Music. We all are very different, but differences do not drive us apart, but rather help us to create unique and rich performances which are hard to forget. People who come to our shows once become our fans and follow us to other venues in Los Angeles and Southern California.

Our mission is to bring music to people's lives. Our goal is to put a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. I invite you and your family and friends to experience the wonder of music, dance and song with the Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra. Come to our concerts, listen to our CDs. Treat yourself!

Iryna Y. Orlova


Music Director,
Los Angeles Balalaika Orchestra


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