The Terem Quartet, 1992

The Terem Quartet is unique. As classically trained musicians, their technique and expertise are astonishing. As players of traditional folk instruments, their music is startlingly original.

The group came together at the Leningrad Conservatoire in 1986 and are still very rooted in the city of Leningrad (now St Petersburg). With just one accordion, two domras (lutes) and one huge bass balalaika, the Quartet create a swelling and retreating orchestra of sound.

Full of subtleties and contradictions, their repertoire moves seamlessly from gypsy melodies to popular theme tunes to Tchaikovsky. Such an eccentric range of material is completely in tune with the humour of their live performance.


  • '...Russian folkies who perform with the velocity of a speed-metal band, while imbuing their native melodies with a romantic, lyrical grace...' Reflex (UK)
  • 'Beautiful Russian folk melodies are the core of their sound - funked up, mangled, and transformed to a high gloss by the hair-raising interplay of these St Petersburg pickers.' Reflex (UK)
  • '...the Quartet rip through gypsy and popular Russian themes, Tchaikovsky and much else besides with a speed, dexterity and wit reminiscent of our own Penguin Cafe Orchestra...Fast, vicious, funny, this is a sharply drawn cartoon version of Russia's musical heritage that piles on the irony and the slapstick without ever losing sight of its roots.' Creative Loafing (UK)
  • World Music Release of 1992. 'World Music Release of 1992.' Folk Roots (UK)