Amazing Russian Gypsy singer Alexander Menshikov (1962-2015) was born on May 3rd, 1962 in a small town Bugulma, now Republic of Tatarstan (former USSR). He studied singing at The Gnesin's Academy of Russian music in Moscow, Russia, the most prestigious school for vocalists in Russia. Mr. Menshikov (Russian: Александр Петрович Меньшиков) is a professional singer with many years of experience, leader of popular Russian American wedding music band 5GRAND.US, lead singer with the largest Russian dance and music company otside of Russia Barynya, soloist of the Russian folk music band, New York Balalaika Orchestra, Moscow Gypsy Army show.
"Letter To Mother", lyrics by Russian poet Sergey Esenin
Videoclip dedicated to memory of famous Russian poet Sergey Esenin was made by Simbirtsev Dmitriy. Song "Letter To Mother" performance by Alexander Menshikov was selected as the best interpretation of Esenin's lyrics.
Mikhail Smirnov and Alexander Menshikov provided entertainment (jokes in Russian and English, traditional Russian Gypsy songs "Dark Eyes", "Kai One", "Two Guitars", "Nane Tsokha", "Prikhayape", "Shatritsa", "The Long Road") for the Russian New Year's party in Sidney, Australia.
"The song is flowing" - «И льется песня»
Video recorded on May 29, 2011 in Erie, PA
Video recorded during "Troika" Festival organized by the Church of the Nativity on Sunday, May 29, 2011. Leonid Bruk (balalaika-contrabass), Elina Karokhina (balalaika), Mikhail Smirnov (guitar, vocals).
Petroushka Ball, February 11, 2011, Waldorf Astoria, New York City
Performance during dinner by Elina Karokhina (balalaika), Leonid Bruk (balalaika-contrabass), Mikhail Smirnov (guitar), and singer Alexander Menshikov. Recorded by Alexander Gurman (alexandergurman's YouTube channel) on February 11, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City during the Petroushka Ball.
"The Star-Ledger", NJ's largest local newspaper, USA
..."Influences from the surrounding culture also seem inescapable. Perhaps this explains why a rich-toned singer like Kvasova has an authentically flat, village twang, while Alexander Menshikov croons "Dark Eyes" and the "Song of the Volga Boatmen" in a smoother pop style. Barynya's balalaika orchestra has a wondrous assortment of authentic instruments, including the huge and impressive "balalaika-contrabass," yet the arrangement of "Lara's Theme" from "Dr. Zhivago" would not seem out-of-place at a beachside restaurant in Hawaii. Evidently Barynya is responding to the taste of a mixed American audience..." read full article in NJ's "Star Ledger"
Solo concert of Barynya ensemble at the huge concert hall in Chihuahua City was stopped in the beginning and delayed. Many people outside of the theatre still wanted to get in to see the show. Finally they put sound monitors and projection screens on the street and let some more people inside. That is a very funny funny video. Because they recorded the concert but failed to record the sound, so they just pulled some music off the internet and put the two together. The sound track is fun in its own way too. Our singer Sasha Menshikov did not like it. Actually he hated this video. But maybe he was overreacting.
Сольный концерт ансамбля Барыня в огромном концертном зале города Чиуауа Сити (Чивава Сити) был задержан на 30 ИЛИ 40 минут. На улице осталось около 1000 человек, которым не досталось билетов, а люди требовали впустить их посмотреть шоу. На улице поставили большие проэкционные экраны, звуковые колонки, и в концов концов мы начали наше выступление. К сожалению, на видео вместо нашего собственного звука местные видеооператор и режиссер, которые сделали нам это видео в подарок, зачем-то "подложили" записи каких-то других русских ансамблей. Но эти записи тоже довольно прикольные сами по себе. А видео с выступления получилось очень красивое. Саше Меньшикову оно, правда, страшно не понравилось. Очень сильно не понравилось. Саша Меньшиков всё принимает слишком близко к сердцу.
Festival International des Rythmes du Monde, Chicoutimi (Quebec), Canada, July 2009
Over 10 thousand people attended Barynya performance during Festival in Chicoutimi. Performers: Leonid Bruk, Mikhail Smirnov, Alexander Menshikov, Yan Khmel, Lev Zabeginsky, Valentina Kvasova, Ilia Pankratov.
Mikhail Gorbachev's Liberty Medal Award Gala
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA
Ensemble Barynya performed during diner Gala after the Liberty Medal 2008 was presented to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev by President George H.W. Bush. Official ceremony took place on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at The National Constitution Center located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall... letter of recommendation.
Eight Barynya dancers, four musicians and three singers entertained a black-tie dinner for more than 1,000 guests. Audience included President George H. W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, Dikembe Mutumbo and Van Cliburn. Barynya performed both concert music and dance throughout the evening. President's Bush and Gorbachev were thrilled. World known concert pianist Van Cliburn shake hands with the balalaika virtuoso Lev Zabeginsky. MC of the evening, American television journalist Tom Brokaw, used one of our microphones to do the toasts. He was standing next to Barynya musicians on the stage.
Russian DJ Barnaul (a.k.a. Alexey Maltsev), singer Alexander Menshikov, MC MISHA (a.k.a. Mikhail Smirnov), and Gypsy dancer Anna entertained mixed Russian-American crowd during Russian party at the club "TOUCH", 240 West 52nd Street, New York, New York, 10019.
Russian Father Frosts and Snow Maidens. December 2007
Barynya gig for TV Chanel RUSSIA TODAY, New York City
On December 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 2007 from 12PM till 4 PM New York based Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya dancers and musicians were leading a group of Russian Father Frosts and Snow Maidens (Ded Moroz and Snegurochka) to greet New Yorkers and promote new TV Channel "RUSSIA TODAY".
On December 13, 2007 at 8pm Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya performed at the "Guvernment" (Kool Haus Entertainment Complex), 132 Queens Quay East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 3Y5 Canada...
view more pictures
October 6, 2007. Performance with Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society
Alexander Menshikov and Mikhail Smirnov performed as guests artists at the concert with the Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society. Concert took place on October 6, 2007 at the
Nightingale Hall at the University of Reno. The Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society is based in Reno, Nevada, and is an affiliate of the BDAA (Balalaika and Domra Association of America)... view pictures
July, 2007. Performance series in Ohio communities
Ensemble Barynya was touring the state of OHIO as part of the Ohio Arts Council’s Summer International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour (IMPACT). Barynya performed many shows, Russian & Ukrainian dance workshops from July 17 to July 28, 2007. Performance locations included Lakeside, Warren, Marietta, Jackson and Grandview Heights. All performances were free and open to the public.
July, 2007. The Balalaika and Domra Association of America 2007 Decorah, Iowa
Singer Alexander Menshikov and garmoshka player Mikhail Smirnov were invited as guest artists and teachers of Russia Gypsy traditional singing to the annual conference of The Balalaika and Domra Association of America.
To see pictures from this wonderful Festival of Russian music click the image above.
May 2007. Russian Nobility Ball-2007 in New York City
The Russian Nobility Association in America annual Spring Russian Nobility
Ball took place at the luxurious "Pierre" Hotel on May 11, 2007 in New York City.
Musicians and dancers of New York based Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya (full company)
provided music for coctail hour and thirty minute music and dance program during the dinner. "Barynya" performed popular Russian Gypsy pieces: "Two Guitars", "Kay One", "Vingerka", "3 lines", Russian favorite balalaika arrangement "The Moon is shining brightly" and Cossack song and dance "Varen'ka"
March 2007. George Washington University
Slavic Spring Festival in Washington, D.C. pictures, video
Petroushka Ball 2007
Barynya Balalaika Orchestra at the "Petroushka Ball 2007"
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City.
Ensemble Barynya in Eugene, Oregon in 2006 and 2007
AUGUST 2006. Reno, Nevada
Alexander Menshikov and Mikhail Smirnov are performing as "GYPSY BOYS" at the "Starlight Se ade" concert presented by the Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society at the Bartley Ranch Amphitheater, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, September 2nd. The Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society is dedicated to the perpetuation of music written for the balalaika, domra, and related instruments.
JULY 2006. Akron, Ohio
The annual conference of The Balalaika and Domra Association of America took place in Akron, Ohio. Singer Alexander Menshikov and director of the Brooklyn based Russian folk dance and music ensemble Barynya Mikhail Smirnov went to Akron, Ohio to teach Russian folk singing and Russian folk chorus and to perform for over 160 attendees of the BDAA conference. view photos
JUNE 2006. WORLD YACHT PRINCESS, NEW YORK CITY
Alexander Menshikov with Barynya musicians Mikhail Smirnov and Alex Siniavski play aboard World Yacht's " Princess" at Pier 81 (West 41st street at the Hudson River) in New York City at the Russian Children's Welfare Society event "Petroushka on the Hudson".
PICTURES FROM MAY 21, 2006 PERFORMANCE
Pictures were taken on Saturday, May 20th, 2006 with ensemble Barynya members: balalaika virtuoso Lev Zabeginsky, Mikhail Smirnov on guitar and garmoshka and dancer Valentina Kvasova. Event: "Global Festival" fundraiser for United Nations Association of New York's Young Professionals for International Cooperation. Address: Lighthouse International (between Lexington & Park Avenue in New York City).
Russian folk singer Aleksandr Menshikov and ensemble Barynya, New York City, 2005
As a Russian folk singer Aleksander performes is a soloist of Russian folk dance and music ensemble Barynya based in Russian ghetto of Brooklyn, New York since 1998.
St. Louise Missouri History Museum (Jefferson memorial)
Tour with Russian folk dance ensemble Barynya
Alexander Menshikov recently recorded three new songs for program of the ensemble for a new compact disk titled SERGEY GUSAROV.
Russian folk singer Aleksandr Menshikov and ensemble Barynya
Petrushka Ball, 2006, New York City
Russian folk music, song and dance album. Runtime: 64 minutes. Ensemble Barynya live from Wisconsin. Album released by AS IZ Recording. Philadelphia, PA. 2006. Songs: "The Peddlers", "You stood me up", "Angry mother (bila mene maty)", "Tongue Twister". Dances: "Hopak", "Sailor's Dance", "Barynya", "Kalinka". Balalaika solo: "The Moon is shining", "Chardash"... more info, MP3s, order
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