On Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 from 8 to 11pm two musicians of Barynya ensemble Elina Karokhina (balalaika), and Mikhail Smirnov (vocal, guitar) played for 3 hours at the Anyway Cafe in East Village, Manhattan. Exact address: Cafe Anyway NYC, 34 East 2nd Street, New York, NY 10003-8909. Phone: (212) 533-3412.
Elina and Mikhail played a mix of some modern popular songs, classical pieces, Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Jewisjh, Gypsy popular and traditional songs and instrumental numbers on balalaika, garmoshka, and guitar.
Music selections included Sabre Dance from "Gayane" by Aram Khachaturian, The Hungarian Dance Number 5 (German: Ungarische Tanze) by Johannes Brahms, Csardas by Vittorio Monti, Paganini's Caprice No. 24, Rondo Alla Turca (Turkish March) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Polonaise No. 13 in A minor, "Pozegnanie Ojczyzny" (Farewell to the Fatherland) by Michal Oginski, Libertango by Astor Piazzolla, J.S. Bach - Suite No. 2 - Badinerie (Joke), Variations on a Theme of Corelli in the Style of Tartini. Composer, Kreisler, Fritz, Marie-Auguste Massacrie-Durand Valse No.1, Op.83 (First Waltz), "Moscow Nights", "Kalinka", "Long Road", "Two Guitars", "Meadowlands", Andreev's Waltz "Daydreams", Russian folk dance "Kamarinskaya", "Somewhere My Love" from "Dr. Zhivago" movie, "The Moon Is Shining Brightly", "The Peddlers", "Yablocko", "Ural Mountains Dance", "Angry Husband", Onegin's Name Day Waltz, Mozart's "Turkish Rondo", "Dark Eyes", "Gypsy Roma Medley", Shostakovich's Waltz #2, "Chardash", Balalaika Medley, "Valenki" (Felt Boots).
Balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina is number 1 balalaika player in the United States right now. She was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia and began her formal training at the Mussorgsky Music College of St. Petersburg and continued her training at N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, earning a degree as an Orchestra Soloist. She continued her training at the Conservatory, which included a brief residency in Germany. After, she returned to her native St. Petersburg and completed her education, earning a Doctor of Musical Art degree in the Balalaika. Following her graduation, she began working as a musician, both as a teacher and as a performer, teaching balalaika. Elina Karokhina served in the Russian Army in the Military Ensemble in the Northwest Order of Red Stars. As a balalaika soloist Elina has toured all over the world. When she moved to the United States in 2009 she was hired as a musicial director and soloist with the biggest professional Russian music, song and dance ensemble Barynya (New York). In January 2015 Elina Karokhina was selected to perform the balalaika part with Mariinsky Theatre directed by famous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev in Rodion Shchedrin's opera "The Enchanted Wanderer" at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York. In May 2016 she was hired to play six concerts at the Carnegie Hall in New York City as a part of "The Orchestra Rocks" international event. In September 2016 he appeared at the Carnegie Hall again as a part of "Moscow Gypsy Army" representing rich musical culture of Eastern Europian Roma people. In January 2017 Elina was hired to play Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh" Suite at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the National Symphony Orchestra. All four performances were under direction of world-famous conductor Sir Mark Elder. Recently Elina was invited to perform as a Honored Guest Artist at the Balalaika and Domra Association of America 40th Jubilee Convention in Philadelphia.
About Mikhail Smirnov:
Mikhail Smirnov was born in Moscow, Russia. Mikhail is an artistic director and founder of ensemble Barynya based in New York City, author of many articles about traditional Russian dance, music and instruments in English and Russian. Mikhail received his Master's degree from the Moscow State University of Culture and Arts. As a child, he was a member of the famous "Moscow Boys Chorus" - one of the most prestigious all-male choirs in Russia. Before coming to the United States in 1991, Mikhail was a soloist in a several Russian folk dance and music groups including the Moscow State Center for Russian song, "Russkaya Pesnya", under the direction of Nadezhda Babkina. In January 2009 Mikhail Smirnov and dancers of ensemble Barynya were featured on national TV, NBC's "SUPERSTARS OF DANCE" - breathtaking international dance competition led by executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance). This prestigious dance competition hosted by Michael Flatley ("Lord of the Dance") and Susie Castillo, a former Miss USA. Mikhail Smirnov was one of eight judges to decide which country will win. The show premiered on NBC network. Ensemble Barynya is a world renowned group that enjoys exalting stature as the premier Russian folk ensemble outside of Russia. Under direction of Mr. Smirnov ensemble Barynya has become the most requested Russian dance, song and music show outside of Mother Russia.