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New York Russian Balalaika Orchestra

New York based Russian Balalaika Orchestra from New York City is led by Mikhail Smirnov. The company is usually invited to play during cocktails at a traditional Russian weddings, Russian fundraising balls like the Petroushka Ball, large scale social events and presentations, and Doctor Zhivago's style corporate parties.


For the price quote email or call Mikhail Smirnov at (201) 981-2497.

Plaza Hotel, New York City - video

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Petroushka Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City - video

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Petroushka Ball NYC 2011

Petroushka Ball NYC 2011

Petroushka Ball NYC 2011
Photo from the New York Times

Photos from the Petroushka Ball 2009 in New York City

Annual Petroushka Ball 2009 took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra performed from 9pm until 2:30am in the morning. List of performers: Leonid Bruk (balalaika-contrabass), Alex Siniavski (balalaika), Lev Zabeginsky (domra), Alexandre Tseytlin (violin), Yan Khmel (bayan), Mikhail Smirnov (garmoshka, guitar, vocals), singers Alexander Menshikov and Lyudmila Fesenko.

Barynya Balalaika Orchestra at the Petroushka Ball 2009 New York City
Barynya balalaika orchestra at the Petroushka Ball 2009 New York City

May 2007. Russian Nobility Ball-2007 in New York City

Barynya @ Russian Nobility Ball 2007
Ensemble Barynya @ Russian Nobility Ball 2007 photos

The Russian Nobility Association in America annual Spring Russian Nobility Ball took place at the luxurious "Pierre" Hotel on May 11, 2007 in New York City. Musicians and dancers of New York based Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya (full company) provided music for coctail hour and thirty minute music and dance program during the dinner. "Barynya" performed popular Russian Gypsy pieces: "Two Guitars", "Kay One", "Vingerka", "3 lines", Russian favorite balalaika arrangement "The Moon is shining brightly" and Cossack song and dance "Varen'ka".

Barynya has the most beautiful and expensive traditional costumes: Russian Boyarsky, Russian Cossack, Russian Peasant, Ukrainian and Gypsy. All members of the balalaika orchestra are highly trained in former USSR, Russia, Ukraine and United States professional musicians with conservatory background. THE BARYNYA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA provides own top quality sound system with microphones.

Barynya Balalaika Orchestra is providing dancing music for the famous "Petroushka Ball", a traditional Russian ball held annually in New York City by Russian Childrens Welfare Society.

RCWS started in 1965 by a group of descendants of Russian families whose intent was to raise funds to help to Russian children. Since then, the "Petroushka Ball" has become one of New York Society's most vibrant and anticipated annual events, attracting upwards of 800 dinner and dancing guests.

Barynya Balalaika Orchestra at the "Petroushka Ball 2007"
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City. 2 min video

People loved to dance waltzes, tangos, karkovyaks, polkas and Russian folk dances with accompaniment of domras, balalaikas, and Russian accordions of the Barynya Balalaika Orchestra.

Russian folk dance "The Moon Is Shining Brightly" (" ")

Russian folk tune
2 min 20 sec video clip. Russian music ensemble "Barynya" showcase at the booking conference on September 29, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. Alexander Menshikov - percussions, Mikhail Smirnov- classic guitar, Vadim Kolpakov-Russian Gypsy 7-string guitar, Ruslan Khain - balalaika contrabass, balalaika solo - Alex Siniavski

Russian Gypsy folk song and dance "Those were the days" (" ")

Russian Gypsy folk song
2 min 20 sec video clip. Russian music ensemble "Barynya" showcase at the booking conference on September 29, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. Alexander Menshikov - singer, Mikhail Smirnov-guitar, Vadim Kolpakov-Russian Gypsy 7-string guitar, Ruslan Khain - balalaika contrabass, Alex Siniavski-balalaika, Gypsy guitar

The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra
Petroushka Ball 2006, Warldorff Astoria, New York City, USA

The Orchestra has been found by Mikhail Smirnov, director of Russian folk dance and music ensemble Barynya from Brooklyn, New York, founder of Barynya Entertainment website, first online Russian entertainment database in the United States.

The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra
PETRUSHKA Ball @ Waldorff Astoria

New York balalaika orchestra


March 6, 2006

On February 10, 2006, the Russian Children's Welfare Society celebrated its 80th year by holding its 41st Annual Petroushka Ball at the Grand Ballroom, and the adjacent Jade Room, of the famed Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Approximately 800 people attended this event which was a fabulous success thanks in large part to Mikhail Smirnov and his "Barynya Russian Balalaika Orchestra". They were fabulous and kept the attendees singing and dancing until 3:00 AM. We have had several Balalaika groups over the years, but none were better than BARYNYA. We hope to have them back for many, many years. These musicians are extremely talented. One of our Board members wrote to me: "The after 10PM event with 'Barynya' was almost the insider more hip part of the evening. It was the place where we old fogies were letting our hair down what little we have left. The festiveness was more intense than prior years. You have created a new event within an old tired one. The Ball has taken on a whole new energy that is taking root in a new generation who are making it an important annual event on their social calendars. I think we can expect it to continue to grow as long as you are at the helm and your passion continues to ignite the best in all of us.

Vladimir P. Fekula
Russian Children's Welfare Society

a.siniavski, i.zagornova, s.mikhol, m.smirnov
photo by Vladimir P. Fekula

The leading balalaika player of the Barynya Balalaika Orchestra is Alex Siniavski, acclaimed balalaika virtuoso, former first balalaika of the world known State Andreeev's Balalaika Orchestra from St. Petersburg, Russia, author of the first BALALAIKA TUTORIAL ON DVD.

The leading singer is famous singer Gari Nova. Gari is a legend of Russian immigration in the United States known as "The Russian Crooner". He has made many appearances throughout the United States and Europe, in places such as Lincoln Center in New York City, and The Palace in Gstadd, Switzerland.

The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra
Alex Siniavski
The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra
Irina Zagornova, Svetlana Mikhol
The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra
Gari Nova


The "Barynya" Balalaika Orchestra plays Balalaika, Bayan, Domra, guitars, Garmoshka (Russian button accordion), Balalaika Contrabass, cello and drums.


All members of the orchestra are conservatory graduates, the best Russian professional musicians available in New York area of the United States. Some of the musicians performing with the Orchestra: balalaika virtuosos: Alex Siniavski, Lev Zabeginsky, balalaika prime Simon Lemberskiy, balalaika-sekunda Alexander Ressetar, Russian Bayan virtuoso Gennady Gutkin, violin virtuosos Sergey Ryabtsev, Alexadre Tseyitlin, Russian garmoshka player Mikhail Smirnov, Contrabass Balalaika player Leonid Bruk, contrabass Ruslan Khain.

Best in the United States singers are performing with the Orchestra: Natalia Smirnov, Irina Zagornova, Victoria Pichurova, Gari Nova, Alexander Menshikov, Sergei Pobedinski.


Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy and Klezmer music, songs and dances: Kalinka, Hopak, Devochka Nadya, Barynya, Sailors, Dark Eyes, Chubchik, Moscow Nights, Volga Boarman, Korobushka (The Peddler), Odessa, Marusechka, Zemlyanka, Dark Night, Katyusha, Smuglyanka, Two guitars, Chastushki, Cheremshina, Chervona Ruta, Tango Dark Eyes, Put'-Dorozhka, Polyushko, Marusya 1,2,3, Serdtse, Along Petersburg, Murka, Goro-gori, By the long road, Tzar Nikolai, Sergey Gusarov, Konfetki-baranochki, My Gypsies, Stakanchiki Granyonye, Shto mne gore, Ural'skaya Ryabinushka, Kayone, Pri Luzhke, Ne budite, Po Dikim Stepyam Zabailaliya, Vesyoloi Shumnoyu Tolpoyu, Zlaty Kolechiki, Subboteya, Quadrille, Pidmanula, Varenichki, Chardash, The Moon Is Shining Brightly, Birch-tree, Rucheyok and more.


From "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. On photos below people are dancing with THE BARYNYA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA at the Petrushka Ball. Waldorff Astoria Hotel, New York City 2006. more pictures

The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra And indeed everybody in the room looked with a smile of pleasure at the jovial old gentleman, who standing beside his tall and stout partner, Marya Dmitrievna, curved his arms, beat time, straightened his shoulders, turned out his toes, tapped gently with his foot, and, by a smile that broadened his round face more and more, prepared the onlookers for what was to follow. As soon as the provocatively gay strains of Daniel Cooper (somewhat resembling those of a merry peasant dance) began to sound, all the doorways of the ballroom were suddenly filled by the domestic serfs- the men on one side and the women on the other- who with beaming faces had come to see their master making merry.

"Just look at the master! A regular eagle he is!" loudly remarked the nurse, as she stood in one of the doorways.

The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra The count danced well and knew it. But his partner could not and did not want to dance well. Her enormous figure stood erect, her powerful arms hanging down (she had handed her reticule to the countess), and only her stern but handsome face really joined in the dance. What was expressed by the whole of the count's plump figure, in Marya Dmitrievna found expression only in her more and more beaming face and quivering nose. But if the count, getting more and more into the swing of it, charmed the spectators by the unexpectedness of his adroit maneuvers and the agility with which he capered about on his light feet, Marya Dmitrievna produced no less impression by slight exertions- the least effort to move her shoulders or bend her arms when turning, or stamp her foot- which everyone appreciated in view of her size and habitual severity. The dance grew livelier and livelier. The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra The other couples could not attract a moment's attention to their own evolutions and did not even try to do so. All were watching the count and Marya Dmitrievna. Natasha kept pulling everyone by sleeve or dress, urging them to "look at Papa!" though as it was they never took their eyes off the couple. In the intervals of the dance the count, breathing deeply, waved and shouted to the musicians to play faster. Faster, faster, and faster; lightly, more lightly, and yet more lightly whirled the count, flying round Marya Dmitrievna, now on his toes, now on his heels; until, turning his partner round to her seat, he executed the final pas, raising his soft foot backwards, bowing his perspiring head, smiling and making a wide sweep with his arm, amid a thunder of applause and laughter led by Natasha. Both partners stood still, breathing heavily and wiping their faces with their cambric handkerchiefs.

"That's how we used to dance in our time, ma chere," said the count.

dancing with The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra, photo by Walter Fekula
Dancing with "The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra"
Photo credit: Walter Fekula


Barynya Balalaika Orchestra, Petroushka Ball, Hotel Plaza, New York City
Barynya Balalaika Orchestra, Petroushka Ball, Hotel Plaza, New York City


For the price quote email or call Mikhail Smirnov at (201) 981-2497.


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For the price quote email or call Mikhail Smirnov at (201) 981-2497.

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