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About collective

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 Skomorochi.
    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.
    Among the 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.
    The Ensemble's 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. Petersburg, Russia
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.
    From the 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 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)

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