It was an incredible event!
Post-concert articles from the BDAA Newsletter:
By David Cooper
David Cooper, Balalaika
David C. Cooper has been recognized by Russian virtuosi for his artistry as a balalaika soloist. Pennsylvania-born, Mr. Cooper is an authority on Russian folk instruments (he plays them all). He studied conducting and performance at the Glière Institute of Kyïv, Ukraine and is the artistic director and conductor of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra. Mr. Cooper’s diverse talents also make him in demand in jazz, klezmer, and steel drum ensembles. He recently appeared in two productions by The Atlanta Opera playing banjo and guitar for “Cabaret” and mandolin for “Don Giovanni”. With his small ensemble, Balalaika Fantasie, he just completed a second performance at Temple Israel in Greenville, SC.
Yuriy Kolosovskiy, Domra
Yuriy Kolosovskiy is a professional musician and composer whose main instruments include domra and mandolin. Yuriy studied domra at the Rostov State College of Music in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. After receiving his degree, he became a member of the Rostov Folk Philharmonic Orchestra and performed with them until he moved to Wisconsin in 2006. He has performed in venues around Wisconsin as a solo musician, with the folk group White Birch Ensemble that he founded in 2012, and with the UW Russian Folk Orchestra. Kolosovskiy has also recorded a solo album, “Sounds of the Domra”, and has performed as a guest soloist with the UW Russian Folk Orchestra.
From 2017 to 2022 Kolosovskiy lived in Burlington, VT where he performed in venues throughout the state. Currently, he lives in Madison, WI, with his wife and their two cats and a rabbit.
Mila Vinogradova, Vocals
Mila Vinogradova is a Madison-born 10-year old singer, musician, and artist. She is fully bilingual in English and Russian. Mila has loved to sing from when she was a baby, and at 13 months she sang every baby song she would hear, so she started learning music since, attending classes as a toddler, then at the age of 4 she joined the Russian choir led by Anya Gubenkova. She also began taking piano lessons at the sane time. She was a student of the Music Creativity Lab led by Alena Holmes and participated in several amazing music camps with her studio. Mila also learned to play some guitar, flute, and violin. She participates in various musical competitions, and she won first and second prizes several times as well as the 3rd prize in the National Russian Music Competition “Istoki”.
In her free time from school and music, Mila loves drawing animé characters on her tablet or sketchbook and animate games and stories. She is also a world traveler and has been to 16 countries so far. She has been a soloist with the UW Russian Folk Orchestra since 2019.
Victor Gorodinsky, Music Director/Founder
Victor Gorodinsky is a Librarian Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Libraries.
Originally from Moscow, Russia, Victor immigrated to the United States in 1982. He holds a Master’s Degree in Music (classical guitar and orchestral conducting) from Gnesin College of Music in Moscow. Before moving to Madison in 1995, he worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where, in addition to being a Slavic Studies Librarian, he was Assistant Director (under the late Professor John Garvey) and later, Music Director of the University of Illinois Russian Folk Orchestra, the official School of Music performing and touring ensemble. Under Victor’s baton, the 40-piece orchestra performed several times a year at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and toured around the Midwest.
In 1996, with the generous financial help from CREECA, Victor was able to purchase a number of authentic Russian folk instruments, and rehearsals began in the fall of 1997.
When Victor happens to have free time, he likes to spend it reading, listening to other music, traveling, and performing magic.