ANDREEV Vassily (A-40)

26/01/1861, Bezhezk, Russia - 26/12/1918, Petrograd, Russia

Russian musician, composer, virtuoso balalaika player. He had no musical education. Independently studied Russian folk art, played various folk instruments (balalaika, harmonica, zhaleika, pipe). He took an active part in the improvement of musical instruments, developed orchestral varieties of balalaika (treble, Piccolo, prima, viola, bass, double bass). A brilliant virtuoso, a subtle artist, Andreev contributed to the approval of the balalaika as a concert instrument. In 1887 he organized Ensemble of balalaika players and toured with it through Russia. Performances at the World Exhibition in Paris (autumn 1889) brought Andreev European fame, he was elected an honorary member of the French Academy of fine arts (1892). In 1896, Andreev expanded the ensemble and rename it the Great Russian orchestra. From 1898 he successfully performed with the orchestra in Russia and abroad (France, Germany, England, USA, Canada). Andreev is the author of concert pieces for balalaika (waltzes, etc.), school of balalaika (1894). 

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