The American Balalaika Symphony

The American Balalaika Symphony (ABS) is a full symphony orchestra comprised of an internationally diverse mix of 50-plus musicians from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Currently, ABS is a resident orchestra of Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, VA.

Each concert season, ABS performs a stunning range of music from beloved Russian folk melodies to classical favorites to rarely heard symphonic masterpieces, often with prominent virtuoso soloists from around the world.

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What a joy! What fresh music! It is great to see that today people still write (and you play) music that actually makes you think and touches upon deep feelings in your soul.

Aria swept us away. My husband felt it so deeply that he even cried during this piece.

The virtuosity of your guest artists and the entire orchestra is outstanding. Ms. Khaninova and Mr. Gorbachev are superb! We also enjoyed the variety of your show, and are looking forward to the next.

The program was phenomenal! Each piece performed was a treat for the ears. It was the first time I have ever heard the accordion featured in a symphony and the utilization of the percussion section was amazing!

Peter and the orchestra comported themselves very well. I suspect the orchestra will be getting more invitations to perform at Strathmore!

Congratulations on a glorious concert this evening! You had a packed house, the audience was truly pleased (...standing ovation!!!). You have much to be proud of.

We had a wonderful time listening to the beauty and depth of numbers like Bonfire, Evening Bells...(so many to mention). ABS was in great form!

I cannot say enough glowing things about this performance. A very accomplished group giving their all and we appreciated it. Conductor fabulous!! We had no idea there were so many different balalaikas. We would like to hear them again. Thank you.

The concert was wonderful.  My guest, who knows a lot more about music than I do, was equally impressed by the quality of the playing.

Wonderful concert! Thank you!

We have been to several concerts at Strathmore and no audience has shown as much appreciation (long applause) as the one did for ABS tonight.

I thought the orchestrations were very good and with all the (semi-) solo parts gave great variety and opportunity to show off musician talent and interpretation… I thought the orchestra was well held together despite the tempo variations built into the charts… the music selection well chosen, presenting nice variation and fine solo renditions.

We enjoyed every piece but are in love with Evening Bells. Could listen to it over and over.

Congratulations on a terrific concert—to you as the maestro, Anna and all your players… You have created a loyal audience that virtually filled up this huge hall.

As I was listening, I realized again how much I love the sound of the balalaika—it has a certain cheerfulness. ..Anna's warm smile right behind you is worth the price o

The concert was fabulous and your composition the best! Congratulations!

What a lovely evening of beautiful music and in such a gorgeous place!

Hope to attend another one of your concerts soon!

It was a great concert... thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

… really enjoyed the ABS Saturday night, especially the Children of Captain Grant Overture, the Zaporiz'kyi Cossack March (good rousing Russian music) and Evening Bells.  To me, it sounded like Peter wrote Evening Bells specifically for his orchestra.

A wonderful experience. The music was breathtaking—romantic, moving—a great selection of compositions and excellent performance.

I loved it. I have an attachment to Russian music as both my parents and their families came from Russia. My dad, esp., had many records to which we all listened and sang songs, etc. I know he would have loved this too.

This was a marvelous program. We enjoyed it very much.

Delightful! Thank you.

It was a great performance.  We both enjoyed it.  Great humor through many moments.

.....the concert was absolutely delightful.  [You] apparently have quite a following....I sat next to folks from Springfield who had made the trip to Bethesda to see [ABS]. The instruments are beautiful and the sound just shimmers....and the music was very uplifting