A Grammy Award contender for “Best Traditional World Music” in 2003 and 2008, Kalinka has thrilled audiences in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Spain, and the US in 5 different languages.

Vladimir Kaliazine on bayan (Russian accordion) and Sergey Vashchenko on balalaika met in Spain where they were professors at a conservatory. After performing throughout Russia and Europe, the duo moved to Texas. As Kalinka, they perform Old World melodies as well as Classical and Jazz Favorites, dazzling audiences with their mastery and wit, while crossing musical frontiers and styles. Kalinka has been the star of many festivals, including the Russian Winter Annual Festival of Dallas, Classical 101 Radio Anniversary Series, Montage Annual Festival, and International Museum of Cultures Artistic Festival. Also they have participated in several music series throughout Texas and with Pop Symphonies, creating a unique interpretation while blending Russian folk instruments with American orchestral music.

Kalinka offers concerts, educational programs, workshops, as well as collaborates with other musical groups and orchestras. Whether performing spectacular classical and traditional Russian works, or international favorites, Kalinka's charm and virtuosity is evident.

Vladimir Kaliazine.

Classical, Jazz, and Folk Bayan Master

At the age of five in his native Latvia, Vladimir Kaliazine began studying the Russian, five-row chromatic button accordion, known as the bayan. He received a high honors degree from St. Petersburg Conservatory.

His own improvisations revealed such a mastery of the accordion that he went on tour as a featured performer with the famous Dance Ensemble of Siberia. Mr. Kaliazine performs, arranges, and composes music for Café Noir, one of the most popular Jazz and Synthesizer Pop Band in the country.

the Jimi Hendrix of Russian Balalaika

Ukrainian born Sergey Vashchenko began his musical training as a child on the bayan and balalaika. He earned a Master’s Degree in Music from the Ural Conservatory in 1985, in performance and conducting, and then served as Musical Instructor and Dean for Balalaika at the Perm Cultural Institute for Arts.

Mr. Vashchenko toured with several groups, including “Lira” and “Bubliky” throughout Europe. Now residing in Austin, Texas, he performs regularly as a solo artist as well with “Kalinka” and “The Flying Balalaika Brothers.” He also has been conductor of the Houston Balalaika and Domra Association.

Sergey Vashchenko.

Flying Balalaika Brothers.


The Flying Balalaika Brothers made their debut in 1995. Originally comprising of three members who were born in Russia, these virtuoso musicians combined their classical training with folk traditions. Presenting their music to small festivals (Gilroy Festival, Sawdust Festival, Valencia Street Market, Pecan Street Festival, Music Under the Stars, Kerrville Folk Festival), they were soon invited to perform in concert halls around the nation.

Appearing in traditional costumes, The Flying Balalaika Brothers introduce the unique rhythms, harmonies, and sounds of Russian and Eastern European folk and classical music using ethnic folk instruments (balalaikas, spoons, accordion), mix it with styles such as bluegrass and jazz using traditional American instruments (banjo, guitar), add a little drums to rock it out, and create an invigorating and innovative fusion of world music that delights and exhilarates audiences of all ages and ethnicities.

Based in Austin, and currently comprising of six amazing musicians, The Flying Balalaika Brothers have been featured on KUT (Austin) radio, Fox television network, and have been featured artists at numerous international festival celebrations.

Between touring and performing, The Flying Balalaika Brothers also present educational programs in three languages to students of both public and private schools in Texas.