Vladimir Volokhin - domra
Sergei Teleshev - bajan
Valerie Petrukhin - double-bass balalaika
Trio Voronezh's astonishing virtuosity and delightful artistic innovation gives the trio the ability to alter the way audiences experience classical, folk and contemporary repertoire.
Discovered playing Bach in a Frankfurt, Germany subway station, Trio Voronezh has since made several tours of the U.S., and earned audience and critical praise. Don Heckman of the Los Angeles Times beautifully sums up a performance: "The traditional pieces soon brought the crowd to life, clapping enthusiastically as the rhythms accelerated and Volokhin's fingers flew across his domra.
Petrukhin, his body moving in sync with his deep bass notes, and Teleshev, magisterially pulling everything together within the lush sounds of his bajan, completed the picture -- three players, alone on a large open stage, filling every crevice with their rich, imaginatively conceived music."
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. This ever-expanding concert material is arranged by the trio's members and performed with extraordinary virtuosity entirely from memory. More recently they have added works by Astor Piazzolla, Alfred Schnittke, and Shostakovich and Strauss.
Classically trained at the Conservatory in Voronezh, Russia, the members Valerie Petrukhin, Vladimir Volokhin (National Champion, All-Russian Domra Competition) and Sergei Teleshev, formed the trio in 1993 in their native working-class city of Voronezh. They play traditional Russian folk instruments: a double-bass balalaika (the three-stringed Russian national instrument, with a triangular body made of fir), a domra (a three-stringed short-necked ancestor of the mandolin), and a bajan (a chromatic-button accordion, with various registers).
The trio made its U.S. debut at the 1996 Oregon Bach Festival (Helmuth Rilling, Artistic Director), becoming the sleeper-hit of the summer; the musicians were then immediately invited to return. The first U.S. tour began by bringing down the house on American Public Media's A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. The trio went on to perform at Houston's Society for the Performing Arts; the cities of Ann Arbor, Chicago, Portland, and St. Louis; and the Universities of Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Nebraska, and Los Angeles; as well as Amherst, Dartmouth College, New York's Rockefeller University, and Stanford.
The trio made its orchestral debut with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in a highly successful collaboration with Doc Severinsen. Since the debut the trio has performed throughout the U.S. with major orchestras, to great acclaim. As San Francisco Classical Voice noted of their return to Stanford University, the players of Trio Voronezh have "clear and purposeful dynamics, and never faltered for an instant. Their playing shows a clear sense of 'we've done this a million times but we still love it.'"
Official website of Trio Voronezh