The musical adventure of this ensemble began in 1993. Taking on the name that in the past designated the orchestra of the pupils of the Institut Saint-Georges established in the Potager du Dauphin in Meudon (a college and boarding school formerly run by Jesuit fathers for boys of Russian origin). Many young Russians studied there, and some took up the balalaika, which was encouraged and taught, particularly for a whole generation, by Pavel Voloshine. It was a veritable "little conservatory of the balalaika in France".
Pétia Jacquet-Pritkoff, a former pupil of the school, conducts and composes the arrangements and orchestrations, drawing inspiration from traditional melodies. These arrangements highlight the different timbres of the instruments in the orchestra.
"Two reasons motivated me to take on this project. The first was to recreate an orchestra made up entirely of balalaikas in the spirit of the first balalaika orchestra created over a century ago in Russia by Vassili Vassilievitch Andreev, considered to be the father of the modern balalaika. The second was to prove that in France there are still enough passionate enthusiasts among the descendants of Russian émigrés capable of giving their time and talent to bring this little page of music to life together...
Our elders, known as "White Russians", contributed to the artistic life of their host country. From the twenties to the eighties, Paris experienced the vogue for Russian cabarets, at the same time as great orchestras of balalaikas and traditional instruments were performing in concert: Gladyrewsky, Scriabin, Tchernoyaroff, Streha and more recently Evets, Liakhoff, the Orchestre AOCB, not forgetting Ter Abramov, a soloist with an incomparable style. All have contributed to the history of the balalaika in France.
In the 1960s, the value of Soviet Russian masters (such as Netcheporenko, Chalov, Rojkov and orchestras like Ossipov) became better known in the West. Such examples can only, I hope, encourage future generations to love this instrument.
In recent years, the changes in Russia have given the members of the Orchestre de Saint-Georges the immense pleasure of meeting Alexandre Chalov and Mikhaïl Rojkov in France, whose arrangements and recordings have charmed, inspired and carried all the balalaikists of France for decades".
Valse triste (Bakaleinikov), Valinka, Moldavian Song, The Peddler, Slavianka and St George's March, Romance (Sviridov), Siberian Polka (Chalov), Over the valley (Chalov). The River, French Concerto, Concerto for Piccolo, Russian Suite, Songs...