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Dedicated to the memory of great master of balalaika

For all Russian folk music lovers, it is with great sorrow that we learn of the passing of Anatoly Tikhonov on August 21st, 2014.
In tribute to the memory of the great musician I found an unique archival recordings of Budashkin's "Troika rushes" (Vot mchitsya troika pochtovaya). Anatoly Tikhonov playing solo and Nicolay Kalinin conducting...

Anatoly Tikhonov was a People’s Artist of Russia, a soloist and concertmaster of the Osipov Balalaika Orchestra, the holder of many awards.  He actively developed and promoted the art of playing the famous Russian folk instrument, the balalaika.

This virtuoso performer had always been distinguished by his own style of well known works.  The soft sound of the instrument, individual timbre, vividly embodied creative ideas and original interpretations of music made his playing different from other artists…and very special.

Anatoly Tikhonov was born on April 20th, 1932, in Moscow.  While visiting a trade school, he began his musical career  with an amateur group which was led by A. Kaperonen, the orchestra concertmaster of the world famous Aleksandrov Ensemble.  After graduating from a vocational school, this talented young man was sent to Music College. He followed this by attending the Gnesin’s Musical Academy. 

Working in the Osipov Balalaika Orchestra, Tikhonov toured many countries, including France, Australia, USA, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Norway, Denmark and Japan.  This artist delighted audiences in well known venues such as Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York.  Former President Richard Nixon’s family attended Osipov Concerts twice in Washington, DC in 1972.

There were numerous rave reviews in the Russian and foreign press:  “The virtuosity of the soloist, playing the national instrument, asks for a comparison with the virtuosity of the Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia,” wrote a USA newspaper in 1972.  “The balalaika soloist, Mr. Tikhonov, was a sensation in the first part of the balalaika orchestra concert,” from a newspaper in Colorado.

Many original balalaika compositions were created specifically for Anatoly Tikhonov.  The famous Russian folk music composer, Vera Gorodovskaya, created eleven concert arrangements for balalaika solo with orchestra; among them: “Kalinka,” “I Will Go Down to the River,” “Under the Window Swaying Bird Cherry Tree,” “Russian Dance,” and “Russian Melodies.”  Gorodovskaya was known as a brilliant pianist and the duets with Tikhonov elicited enthusiastic responses from audiences everywhere they performed.

Mr. Tikhonov became a member of the BDAA in 1989 and performed with them when the convention was held in Washington, DC in 2003.

In the 58 years that Anatoly Tikhonov performed with the Osipov Balalaika Orchestra, it was always filled with bright and varied events, and numerous concerts and recitals. Tikhonov lead the unison of balalaikas when they performed solos with the orchestra sitting on the front of the stage.  These years represent an amazing era in the life of this famous orchestra.