Tamara Volskaya (domra), Anatoliy Trofimov (bayan),
Leonid Bruk (contrabass-balalaika)
The "Russian Trio" consists of unique professional musicians who contributed to the growing interest in Russian folk instruments in America. The primary characteristic of the ensemble is a successful blend and vibrant performance of Russian folk, Eastern European, traditional World folk, as well as classical and contemporary music.
The first step to start playing as a trio was done by well-known domra–player Tamara Volskaya and her husband bayanist Anatoliy Trofimov who comprise one of the most remarkable and inspiring musical duos to be found anywhere in the world. “Honored Artists of Russia”, winners of international and national competitions, professors of the Mussorgsky Ural State Concervatory, they have toured throughout Russia, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and recorded several CDs.
Leonid Bruk (contrabass-balalaika) graduated from musical school in St. Petersburg as a bass-guitar player and performed in different groups there. Leonid was deeply attracted by bass-balalaika and has played for many years in folk groups with his wife Russian village voice singer Irina Zagornova. He has brought live feeling of music to the bass section and performs on the biggest instrument of the trio with phenomenal artistry.
The trio came to life with Anatoliy Trofimov’s full of humor, deep feelings and unique spirit arrangements of Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Jewish and American tunes. It is evident that all his arrangements of folk music are his original compositions based on folk tunes.
Soon after "Russian Trio" was established it became a remarkable part of Brooklyn community life as well as New York city music scene. The trio has performed at schools in Manhattan and Long Island with lectures about Russian music and Russian folk instruments. The musicians of the "Russian Trio" were welcome performers at Ocean County Libraries of New Jersey (Brick Library and Point Pleasant Branch libraries), at 92nd street and Y concert events. They participated at Bangor Folk Festival, Slavic Festival in Manhattan and performed for prestigious Madison Council of the Library of the Congress. Recently they performed with Russian choir of New York City in Manhattan, with mandolin orchestras of NYC and Pittsburgh, played recitals for the Brewster concert series and at the Sinai Congregation Synagogue in Long Island.
About the instruments
The domra, a member of the lute family, is a four stringed plucked instrument resembling the Italian mandolin, played with a pick, tuned as a violin G-D-A-E.
The bayan, which resembles the accordion, has buttons on both sides of the keyboard.
The balalaika, also in the lute family is a three stringed Russian folk instrument with triangular body strummed only with fingers. The balalaika – contrabass is a double - bass sized triangular body instrument played with a leather pick.