Russian folk festival coming to Troy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2003

The world renown The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival of Song and Dance is coming to Troy and

its a program no one will want to miss.

The Troy Arts Council (TAC) will present The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival of Song and Dance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2 at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy State University campus.

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Bobbie Swisher, TAC publicity chairperson, said the program, presented in costume, features balalaika, ensemble and Russian folk ballet.

The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival was created by Nikolai Massenkoff as

expression of a life-long love for his heritage and its tradition of soul-stirring culture.

Massenkoff was schooled in classical music, dance and drama and he specialized in voice and studied with such masters as Tito Gobbi, Alexander Kipnis and George London.

Nikolai's voice, which has been described as "a remarkable instrument" will be featured in the program and that alone in worth the price of admission, Swisher said.

"The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival performed at Live From the Plaza in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the reviews we received from there were outstanding," Swisher said. "The president and CEO of the Plaza said the audience was fascinated with the costumes, Nikolai's 'gorgeous; voice and the Souvenir Dancers as well as the ensemble and solo work of the Balalaika Orchestra. We have heard nothing but outstanding praise for The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival and we are proud to be able to bring them to Troy and Pike County."

Nikolai's story began in Northern China where he was born of a Russian mother and Russian/Mongolian father. His passionate involvement with the music of Russia began in a Russian Orthodox orphanage. His rich voice was discovered while he was chanting ancient religious chants.

Swisher said.

"Nikolai Massenkoff took these childhood songs

with him on his journey of artistic maturity," she said.

Nikolai has performed on concert stages worldwide including Carnegie Hall and

with symphony orchestras and at major performing arts centers in the United States and abroad.


has presented more than 100 performances at the International Division of Epcot Center and

performed for an audience of 90,000 at Olympic Stadium in Seoul, Korea. In the Soviet Union, Nikolai participated in the Fourth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and was later invited to be a guest and tour the Soviet Union.

"From information we received, the Soviet Press was very taken with Nikolai Massenkoff," Swisher said. "They reported that he conquered them with his voice and overwhelmed them with his songs.

"We are very fortunate to have a Nikolai Massenkoff and The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival come to our area. This is a unique opportunity and we hope that everyone who enjoys music and dance will make plans to attend.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and are available at local banks, WTBF, the Colley Senior Complex and the TSU School of Music. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival is made possible by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts and is presented in coordination with Troy State University.