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Balalaika means "chatterbox". Dating back several centuries, it was originally a simple instrument strummed by common Russian folk to accompany song. But around the turn of this century, it underwent a renaissance that brought it into Russia's music salons and onto the concert stage. A Russian nobleman and classicist, V.V. Andreyev, met his life's work when he heard a peasant strumming a balalaika on his family's country estate, and became transfixed by its bright, "chattering" sound. Andreyev went about revamping the balalaika, with the help of Russia's best luthiers, improving its sound and artistic potential. He eventually oversaw the creation of a family of different sized balalaikas, and created the first balalaika orchestra. The results were stupendous. Russia's top composers contributed to its repertoire, and Andreyev took the orchestra on a World Tour, having its U.S. debut in 1911 at Carnegie Hall. Wherever Andreyev went, amature balalaika orchestras sprung up, as people of all countries fell in love with the balalaika's special sound.

Today, Russia's most prestigious music conservatories have departments devoted to the study of Russian folk instruments, where serious musicians can study the balalaika and prepare themselves for careers as soloists or members of professional Russian folk orchestras... assuring a place on the world concert stage for the triangular "chatterbox" with three strings.