Walter J Kasura Russian Folk Music Collection, 1960-1983
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Brief Description:

Consists of manuscripts, research notes, personal papers, and published works, including Russian and gypsy folk songs, other vocal and choral works, instrumental solos, scores and parts for orchestral and chamber performing ensembles (including many arrangements by Kasura), instrumental methods books, and reference books on performance practice, repertory, and historical development of the balalaika, domra, and Slavic folk orchestra.

Note to researchers: Many of these scores are written in Cyrillic, and there are some differences in transliteration. Here are some examples of the same Cyrillic combinations transliterated different ways: ch and zh; yaya and iaia; cz and ts; skaya and skaia; skogo and sky and ski(i). When searching for a particular piece, please use both options. For example "tanecz" and "tanets"; "Rimskogo-Korsakov" and "Rimsky-Korsakov."

See also record series number 35/3/68.

Held at:
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
236 Harding Band Building
1103 South 6th Street
Champaign, IL 61820 6223
Phone: 217-244-93093
Fax: 217-244-8695
Email: schwrtzs [at]
Record Series Number: 12/5/61
Created by: Kasura, Walter J. (1918-1983), Grushko, Nicholas
Volume: 98.1 cubic feet
Acquired: 05/12/1986. Additions acquired from the Music and Performing Arts Library on May 3, 2016.

Organized into three series. Series 1: Published Songs, Series 2: Instrumental Music--which contains Sub-Series 1: Russian, Belorussian, and Ukrainian Folk Song Arrangements, Sub-Series 2: Nicholas Grushko Arrangements, Sub-Series 3: Emanuil Sheynkman Arrangements, and Sub-Series 4: Prima Balalaika Music-- Series 3: Personal Papers, and Series 4: American Popular Music.

Processing of this collection was done by multiple people over multiple years; therefore, there is some differences in formatting within the finding aid. Originally, the collection was organized by EC number, some of which are indicated in the finding aid. Some of the records are also cataloged in the University of Illinois Library Catalog. Box 264 was found after the collection was finished--it fits intellectually in Series 2, Sub-Series 1 between Box 90 and 91. Box 265 was also found after the collection was finished--it fits intellectually in Series 2, Sub-Series 1 between Box 113 and 114. Original EC numbers 732 and 1058 are still missing.

Biographical Note for Kasura, Walter J. (1918-1983) :

Walter Kasura was born in New York City to Russian emigre parents. He studied music theory and arrangement under Alexander Ivanoff, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory.  He also received further guidance from the well-known Peter Biljo, who performed regularly on the CBS radio program "Around the Samovar."  His performing experience included a small group called the Moscow Balalaika Ensemble, the professional wing of the Balalaika and Domra Society.  He played club dates, parties, on radio and television, at leading hotels in Miami, Quebec, and New York, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 1977 the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra of New Jersey and the North Jersey Philharmonic with Leonard Davis as balalaika soloist performed one of his arrangements.  The latter concert drew a crowd of over 5,000 people.  In 1979 Walter was awarded a grant to teach balalaika and domra seminars at the University of Illinois and to direct in concert the University of Illinois Balalaika Orchestra.

Subject Index
Folk music
Music -- Russia
Vocal music
Genres/Forms of Material
Sheet music
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Russian [rus]
Ukrainian [ukr]
Acquisition Notes: Walter J. Kasura Family  Gift