The Arizona Balalaika Orchestra began in 1980 in Tucson, AZ as a small ensemble within the University of Arizona Russian Department. The group is a spirited, non-profit community folk orchestra, playing native Slavic instruments and wearing colorful costumes. It has toured throughout Arizona and Mexico.
At major performances, the Orchestra collaborates with guest dance troupes, vocalists, and guest instrumental soloists from as far away as Moscow and Kiev, to put on world class performances, year after year.
Small ensembles also perform for festivals, churches, clubs, and other events.
The Arizona Balalaika Orchestra is a member of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America (BDAA), which has annual conventions in North America and Russia. Tucson was host for this convention in 1989, and again 15 years later, in 2004.