The Terem Quartet

The individual members of the Terem Quartet came together as students at the Lenningrad Conservatoire in 1986. In just a few years this brilliant folk ensemble have won many coveted awards both in the Soviet Union and internationally and they have gained an outstanding reputation worldwide.

They are classically trained musicians whose craftsmanship and expertise astonishes. Comprising three balalaikas and an accordion the quartet have a wide repertoire of folk, classical and traditional music. Theirs is a music which is startlingly original, full of subtleties and contradictions combining the classical elements with traditional folk forms to create a sound that has a haunting quality and wildly evokes a sense of space that is the Russian landscape. This musical process is borne out in their live performance as they march around the stage in their classical garb. Their music embodies an epic quality that is perfectly suited to film – therefore not surprisingly the ensemble have completed several TV projects for both Soviet and German TV.

The quartet is working to revive the folk music of North West Russia which for a multitude of reasons has lost countenance with the ordinary people. It is, in their own words, a process of democratisation, the re-popularising of musical forms that are essentially of the people. They have had a good deal of success in achieving this aim performing before ecstatic audiences throughout the Soviet Union and indeed all over the world.

Further reading

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