July 2016

Issue 21/2016


Russian journalist, Alexander Yaroshenko from Moscow “Russian Gazette” (Rossiyskaya Gazeta) has organized with the help of others, a 14 day performance tour of Siberia and Far East Russia for the Sydney Balalaika Orchestra (SBO). The tour will open with an appearance at the famous Amur Autumn Film and Theatre Festival in Blagoveshchensk, Siberia in September this year followed by other performances in Far East Russia.
The Amur Autumn Film and Theatre Festival is one of the major film events in Russia and the SBO has been given the honour of performing at its closing ceremony.

A. Yaroshenko discovered the SBO some years back when he visited Sydney with a film crew gathering information about Russians outside Russia. He was invited to a weekly rehearsal of the SBO in Homebush where he filmed and interviewed several Russian speaking members.
The interview was released on National Russian television as a documentary and A. Yaroshenko was overwhelmed by the audience response to this Australian orchestra playing Russian folk music with such authority, dedication and strict observance of the traditional folk Russian style.

View across Amur River from Blagoveshchensk to Chinese city of Hei He

Now several years on A. Yaroshenko has finally persuaded the organizers of the Amur Autumn Film and Theatre Festival in Blagoveshchensk to invite the SBO to perform and stay in this Siberian city on the banks of the mighty Amur River.
Not to be outdone, the Governor of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, a city 1,175 km east of Blagoveshchensk off the coast of Russia, has extended his invitation for the SBO to give one or two concerts over a three day stay.
Audiences from Yuzhno Sakhalinsk well remember the SBO from when they toured there in 2005 and 2007 and have extended a warm and emotional welcome back to the orchestra. The tour will wind up with performances over two days in the city of Khabarovsk whose people also have fond memories of the SBO from their previous visits.

City of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Sakhalinsk Island

The Russian Gazette (circ. 3-5 million) has published a headline article about this tour under the title ‘Balalaika from the country of Kangaroos” see
The Russian hosts have generously covered all SBO expenses whilst on tour but the orchestra has had to come up with finding their own air fares. They have managed to do this partly from concert and CD income but mostly by personal contributions from each of the members.

The twenty nine piece Sydney Balalaika Orchestra based in Sydney and led by Musical Director, Victor Serghie, has been performing for over 30 years throughout Australia and has by invitation, toured Russia three times as well as China twice and New Zealand.

The SBO is a not for profit association whose mission is to bring the beautiful folk music of Russia in authentic form to both Australian and international audiences. The orchestra members are a microcosm of Australia’s diverse multicultural society comprising twenty-nine talented musicians from origins as diverse as Belarus, Swiss, Armenian, Serbian, Danish, N. American, Ukrainian and Chinese as well as Russian and Australian.


Sunday, 31 July 2016, 2:30 pm start

Cnr Raw Square & 7 Albert Road, Strathfield NSW
Enquiries (02) 8850 3623
Tickets are available at door subject to availability.