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The renowned Kauriga Balalaika Orchestra will perform a lively concert of Russian, Ukrainian and Slavic folk music 7:30 p.m. , Sat., June 27 at the Music Pier auditorium, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace.

Folk dancers and singers will be included in the lively and inspiring program.

The Balalaika Orchestra is back by popular demand after an acclaimed concert last fall that drew over 500 people despite heavy rain storms.

Tickets are $5, available at City Hall Annex, 901 Asbury Ave., 609-525-9300 or at the door. City Hall Annex is open Mon. through Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Children 12 and under are free.

The Kauriga Balalaika Orchestra, originally known as the Philadelphia Balalaika Orchestra, was formed in the 1930’s by Paul Kauriga, Sr., who passed away last year. It was one of the first orchestras of its kind in the United States.

Kauriga, a master musician, composer, teacher and conductor, specialized in Eastern European and Middle Eastern music. He was nominated for a Grammy award in the 1990s, his music was used by the USA Women’s Gymnastic team and in movies. His compositions and Balalaika Orchestra recordings were recently archived by the Smithsonian Institute.

The orchestra with its current members has performed at the Academy of Music with the world famous Moiseyev Dance Company of Russia and Glinka Dance Troupe. It was featured on the Mike Douglas Show and at the Music Educators National Conference.

Preserving Slavic folk music has been a family tradition. Orchestra members include Kauriga’s three sons Gregory, Dimitri and Paul, Jr., daughter-in-laws and grandchildren. Many members were taught by Paul Kauriga and went on to professional careers in music. But they have remained loyal to the Balalaika Orchestra.

The Kauriga performs a program that includes folk themes adapted from the works of legendary composers such as Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich plus anonymous melodies that have been handed down over generations that express the joy, grief and emotions of Slavic peoples.

The music, played on simple instruments, transcends the borders of nations and aims to give the audience a memorable experience. The orchestra has played numerous times at the Music Pier, always to appreciative audiences. ##################