The Ensemble Skomorochi was awarded the prize of Leningrad Komsomol in 1984. It received an
honorary award at the XII World Youth and Students Festival in Moscow in 1985. It received awards at international folk
festivals in Spain (1990 and 1991), in Greece (1992), in Slovenia (1993), and in Denmark (1996). The Ensemble Skomorochi
participated in the European Musical Festival in Belgium in 1995, where it also received an award.
The Ensemble "Skomorochi" was formed in 1969. It is comprised of 13-15 performers, who play the main folk instruments of
Russia, such as the balalaika, domra, accordion, and others.
Each performer can play two or three
musical instruments. Therefore, concert programs of this ensemble may include a total of about thirty exotic folk
musical instruments, such as reed pipes, Vladimirsky horns, and other kinds of Russian folk wind instruments. There is a
large percussion group, comprised of spoons, rattles, little wooden boxes, and bells, and also all kinds of noise making
instruments, such as saws, scythes, and planes ("rubels").
The foundation of the repertoire of
the ensemble is comprised of original works written specifically for folk instruments. Such composers as 1. Tsvetkov, 1.
Rogalev, S. Slonimsky, V. Fadeyev, A. Muromtsev, V. Bibergan, A. Ponomarev wrote music specifically for the Ensemble
The instrumental music pieces of the ensemble have evolved from Russian musical
folklore. All concert numbers are unique and require the highest technical precision and perfection of performance.
Written as small music scenes, these pieces incorporate elements of dramatic theater. Audiences in Russia and countries
of Europe, Asia, and Africa have received the performances with overwhelming approval.
distinctive features of the Ensemble's artistic style is collaboration with highly professional soloists, singers, and
virtuoso instrumentalists, who represent the best performing talents of the folk instrumental genre in Russia. Concert
programs of the Ensemble have included performances by such renowned artists as balalaika performer Michael Danilov,
recipient of the Honorary Artist of Russia title, psaltery player Valery Tikhov, domra player Alexander Tsygankov,
accordion player Victor Grydin, the recipient of the People's Artist of Russia title, psaltery player Konstantin
Shahanov, and xylophone player Valentin Osipov.
Concerts of the Ensemble Skomorochi have been held
throughout Russia, including in the Far East, Siberia, Caspian Sea and Baikal Region, Karelia, and Central Russia.
The Ensemble has successfully conducted hundreds of concerts in the most prestigious venues of St.
Petersburg, Russia, such as the Academic Cappella, named after Glinka, the Small Philharmonic Hall, and various
historical museums and palaces. The Ensemble Skomorochi is involved in a wide range of artistic activities, including
performing for many television and radio broadcasts and making studio recordings of music for cinematography. The
Ensemble has released two compact discs and a number ofaudiotapes and videotapes in Germany, Great Britain, and Russia.
A group of about ten dancers is part of the Ensemble. The choreographic part of the Ensemble's
repertoire is inspired by the folk dances of northern and central Russia.
performances of popular dances, such as Smolensky Gusachok, Pskov Quadrille, Orlovski Matanya, and Kursk Chebatucha,
have been greeted by audiences in twenty-three countries of the world. Among these countries are Japan, India, Norway,
France, England, Germany, Spain, and Denmark.
Dr. Victor Akulovich, Professor at the St. Petersburg
University of Culture and Art and Distinguished Art Worker of Russia, has directed the Ensemble since its first
rehearsal in 1969.
Our new CDs!
Skomorokhi: Music of the 20th Century. Skomorokhi Folk Group, St.
Conductor Victor Akulovich
Soloists: Yury Shishkin (accordion), Andrey Gorbachev
(balalaika), Konstantin Shakhanov (gusli alt), Tatiana Potemkina (domra), Maria Maresh (spoons)
Russian music pictures. Skomorokhi Folk Group, St. Petersburg, Russia
Valentine Osipov virtuoso - soloist, performer on
concertina and xylophone
Valentine Osipov was born in the year 1930, in the family of circus artists, in
Tashkent. His artistic life lasts more then half a century. From the age of 6 he began to do his first steps on the
stage, playing on some eccentric instruments, in due course he mastered such instruments like concertina, accordion and
xylophone. After that Valentine Osipov finished specialized music school in Frunze and became a professional performer.
Valentine Osipov is now the soloist of many concert organizations in Moscow and Sank-Petersburg, he
constantly leads a concert activity, takes part in the best performances of different ensembles of Russia. Also he is a
welcome guest abroad.
Nowadays Valentine Osipov is the most popular performer in play on english
concertina and xylophone. He is a diplomant of many competitions between variety artists.
year 1992 Valentine Osipov is in cultural cooperation with the Song and Dance Company "Skomorokhi". He was on tour with
the folk group in Germany, France, Denmark.
Konstantin Shakhanov psaltery - player
Konstantin Shakhanov was born in 1964 in Arkhangelsk - city. He
graduated music college, then in 1995 - psaltery class of St. Petersburg conservatory. Since 1983 he cooperates with
consert organizations of different Russian cities and towns and with professional folk orchestras.
Konstantin Shakhanov is one of the most promising psaltery - players in Russia. He's the author of two concerts and
fantasia for psaltery.
He wrote several brilliant pieces for Russian folk instruments, for example,
"jaleika", reed, horn, "kuvickly", spoons. These musical pieces are usually performed by "Skomorokhi" company and many
other folk orhestras.
Since 1991 Konstantin Shakhanov cooperates with 'Skomorokhi" company and gives
concerts all over Russia. As a soloist of the company he was on tour in Germany, France and Denmark.
At present time he leads a psaltery class at St. Petersburg conservatory and St. Petersburg Academy of Culture.
Olesya Petrova (mezzo-soprano)
Sergei Zykov (baritone)