Ring in the Slavic New Year in Gresham
Event to feature world-renowned musical trio, community troupe
East County residents can see the world-class musical group Trio Voronezh for free from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, at the Gresham Library, 385 N.W. Miller Ave.
The trio will play at the library's Slavic New Year Celebration, which will feature music, dancing, crafts and authentic Russian and Ukrainian treats.
Formed in Russia almost two decades ago and now based in Eugene, Trio Voronezh has performed on Garrison Keillor's 'A Prairie Home Companion' radio show as well as with several U.S. orchestras.
The trio has also played with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra collaborating with Doc Severinsen, formerly of 'The Tonight Show.'
Classically trained at the conservatory in Voronezh, Russia, the trio consists of Valerie Petrukhin, Vladimir Volokhin and Sergei Teleshev, and plays traditional Russian folk instruments.
Petruhkin plucks the double-bass balalaika, a three-stringed Russian national instrument, with a triangular body. Teleshev plays a bajan, a chromatic-button accordion. And Volokhin plays a domra, a three-stringed short-necked ancestor of the mandolin. He's not bad, either, have being named Russia's national champion on the instrument.
The trio's diverse repertoire ranges from the works of Bach, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky to Russian folk songs, gypsy dance music and popular songs by Gershwin. More recently they have added works by Astor Piazzolla, Alfred Schnittke, Shostakovich and Strauss.
In an interview, Volokhin says the trio plans to perform music from 'The Nutcracker' as well as pieces by Shostakovich and others, at the Gresham Library. He says the trio played at the 1996 Oregon Bach Festival as well as subsequent festivals and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.
'We just got lots of friends and it became our home,' he says.
He adds the group enjoys audiences here.
'American audiences are great and absolutely open and ready to have fun every minute,' he says.
In addition to the trio, a group of Slavic children and adults will perform Christmas music and theater pieces, according to Lada Sarycheva of Hillsboro.
An immigrant from Ryazan, Russia, Sarycheva says the troupe will perform scenes from Slavic fairytales as well as hold interactive games for children.
She says the whole community is invited and you don't have to be Slavic to enjoy the event.
'Even if you don't understand the language you can understand the dance and the music,' she says. 'You can be involved.'
For more information on Trio Voronezh, visit triovoronezh.com.