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  • Tamara Volskaya artistic director, domra, mandolin

  • Anatoliy Trofimov bayan

  • Mayya Kalikhman domra-prima, domra-alto, mandolin, mandola

  • Nataliya Vsevolodskaya guitar, balalaika-alto

  • Leonid Bruk balalaika-contrabass


    “The great success of the ‘Russian Carnival’ Ensemble can be

    explained by top level professionalism, unity of the ensemble, and the

    musician’s ability to fully fuse with the music they perform.


    -Victor Orlov, Novoye Russkoye Slovo, New York, 2001

About The Russian Carnival

The “Russian Carnival” ensemble was organized in 1997 by the famous duo: domra–player Tamara Volskaya and her husband, bayanist Anatoliy Trofimov. Soon after the ensemble’s establishment, the group became a prominent feature of New York City’s musical scene and of Brooklyn community life.


The “Russian Carnival” Ensemble consists of top level professional musicians that contribute to the growing interest in Russian folk music and instruments in America. The group successfully blends Russian, Eastern European, and traditional world folk, as well as classical and contemporary music in their vibrant performances. The “Russian Carnival” gives new dimensions to the use of traditional Russian folk instruments by presenting music of different styles through the prism of the natural sound of these unusual instruments.  The ensemble features a wide variety of Russian folk instruments, such as the bayan and domras and balalaikas of different sizes and shapes: from prima to bass.


Musicians of the “Russian Carnival" possess equally exceptional skills in performing on the instruments of the mandolin ensemble. As a result of the ensemble’s collaborative efforts, two new mandolin programs were born: "Musical Journey to Russia and Italy" and "From Baroque to Folk". These concerts illustrate a deep connection between the two instruments from the lute family - mandolin and domra.


The ensemble has gained acknowledgement with performances at Merkin Hall, Trinity and Saint-Peter’s Churches. In 2001 “The Russian Carnival” performed for the prestigious Madison Council of the Library of Congress and was featured nationwide on CBS prime time special “Christmas Around the World.” The highlight of 2004 sason was “The Russian Carnival’s” performance at Avery Fisher Hall as part of the “Russian Splendor” program.  February 2006 was marked with a tremendously successful performance of the ensemble at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Concert Hall.  The ensemble's most recent achivement was a concert lecture at the British Museum of Yale University. In 2007-2008 "The Russian Carnival" participated in numerous festivals and recently performed at the Russian Mission of United Nations in New York City.


 The ensemble recorded two programs. In 2003 they produced a new CD consisting of the highlights of ensemble’s repertoire.

About The Musicians

Tamara Volskaya (musical director of the group, domra and mandolin soloist )  and  bayanist Anatoliy Trofimov comprise “The Russian Duo”, an outstanding Russian Folk Instruments group, with appreciative audiences in Japan, Spain, Australia, Canada, Russia and America. Tamara Volskaya and Anatoliy Trofimov are “Honored Artists of Russia”, winners of international and national competitions and professors of the Mussorgsky Ural State Conservatory.

Anatoliy Trofimov arranges the ensemble’s repertoire.


Mayya Kalikhman (a former student of T. Volskaya) has fortified the domra section of the group. She is a true multi-instrumentalist, equally perfect playing the second-domra, alto-domra, mandolin, mandola and some percussion instruments in the ensemble. A graduate of the Mussorgsky Ural State Conservatory, Mayya has gained admiration as both a soloist and music instructor in Kiev, Ukraine.


Natalia Vsevolodskaya combines professional and deeply sensitive performance on the guitar with inspirational playing on alto-balalaika, as well as percussion instruments. She graduated Kiev musical school as a guitarist, and had a valuable experience of playing alto-balalaika in the famous October Palace Orchestra, Kiev.


 Leonid Bruk graduated from a musical school in St. Petersburg as a bass-guitarist. He was deeply attracted to contrabass-balalaika and has played for many years in various folk groups in Russia and then in America. His enthusiastic performance on

bass-balalaika adds vigor and sparkle to the ensemble’s program.


Two vocalists Irina Zagornova ( Russian voice soprano) and Anatoliy Panchoshniy (bass) are long term friends and soloists of the group.

Irina Zagornova a laureate of “Voices of Russia” competition, who possesses a unique Slavic musical technique of “open throat” singing. She extensively toured around the world and brought to America a typical Russian manner of village folk singing with her live, emotional, full of energy voice.


Anatoliy Panchoshniy graduated from Gnessin Institute with honors and performed throughout Russia and in more than 20 countries worldwide. He is an artist that converts the performance of each song into a musical illustration. He can express soft lyrical spirit and humor of folk songs and the mood of classical arias with equal expertise. 

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