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Intimate Concert with Trio Voronezh

On Thursday Nov. 13, a “Trio” of unique sounds graced the stage of Phelp-Stokes Chapel. With a whirlwind of sweet music playing there sat the band, Trio Voronezh.

Trio Voronezh

The band drew in the audience as they played music ranging from Polkas to Waltzes and back again playing the music by such composers as Bach and Tchaikovsky. They played favorites from the modern composers as well, sticking mainly to the Russians. They also played favorite compositions such as an excerpt from the Nutcracker, yet this was still only the first half.

The audience of students, staff, faculty, and community members were drawn into the music being pulled in the deep resonance of the double bass balalaika, played by Valerie Petrukhin: the sweet melodies and chords of the bajan, played by Sergei Teleshev: and light sound of the domra, played by funny guy Vladimir Volokhin (all three of which are graduates of the Academy of Music in Voronezh, a Russian city of 1 million south of Moscow along the River Don). Through the polkas, Volokhin kept the audience interested with his multifaceted talents such as making faces pulling them into the charm of these three men.

During the second half, the Trio shared with the audience a set of not only classical composer but also Russian folk music. They also played a small bit of Appalachian music to the delight of many watching. As the show came to a conclusion after another wonderful music set and the audience arose with a thunderous clapping with people in the crowd shouting, “Encore, encore!” Pleased with the audience response, the Trio obliged them with another song, to which the audience again rose to their feet and shouted for more. The Trio met with the audience in the Green Room afterward commenting on the reception. When asked if they would ever return to Berea to which Petrukhin replied,”If they ever ask us back.”

The Trio came together in 1993 and played in concert halls in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. They made their way to the U.S. in 1996 where they played at the Oregon Bach Festival. From there their career has flourished appearing in European concerts and filming a music video in the U.S. while still returning the Oregon Bach Festival. Before their U.S. tour they appeared on the radio on “A Prairie Home Companion”. By 2003, the Trio was making its debut with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and later performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and others.

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