Mark A. Selivan Balalaika and Domra Society of New York Music, 1922-1970
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Brief Description: Consists of original manuscripts and published arrangements for balalaika orchestra (prima, secunda, alto, bass balalaika and prima, secunda, alto, and contra bass domra), Russian and American folk music anthologies, and a booklet of collected essays by Phillips Barry. Original arrangements are by Mark A. Selivan, Nicholas Kovac, Alexander Ivanoff, Walter Lachowski, Emil Grimshaw, Sergei Larionoff, Vladimir Nasonov, N. Fomin, F. Nieman, Y. Yungmann, Peter Mikhailoff, Samuel Firstman, and Walter J. Kasura. Of particular note are arrangements for original pieces by Vassily Andreyev.
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: 12/9/164
Created by: Selivan, Mark A.
Volume: 3.25 cubic feet
Acquired: 07/18/0018.
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by title, starting with individual pieces and ending with anthologies and the essay booklet. Whenever possible, an identification of the format of the music for each title (i.e., full score, condensed score, piano score, and parts) has been identified with the corresponding abbreviations, FS, CS, PS, P. Untitled materials have been placed at the end of the series. There was no original order to the materials upon receiving them.
Biographical Note for Selivan, Mark A. :

Mark A. Selivan began his musical studies as a youth by learning the mandolin, balalaika, and domra along with the violin. Selivan played the vaudeville circuit with several balalaika orchestras in New York at the Capitol, Strand, and Roxy Theatres. Under the tutelage of the domra player Nicholas Kovac, he began to concentrate his efforts on the domra and beginning to research music, transcribing and adapting it for domra solos.

In 1961, Selivan founded the Balalaika and Domra Society of New York along with Alexander Kuchma and Jack Raymond. Selivan also served as the Director for the Andreyev Balalaika Ensemble, which was the professional arm of the Balalaika and Domra Society of New York. Under his direction, the ensemble recorded two albums entitled Around the Samovar and Play, My Balalaika in addition to regularly performing in New York and its nearby communities. The aim of the society was to encourage and advance interest in balalaika music and revive the balalaika orchestra as envisioned by Vassily Andreyev, who discovered the balalaika in Russia in the 1880s and established it as a concert instrument through virtuoso solo performances and the ensemble he created. The society kickstarted the balalaika orchestra revival in the United States, as a number of different orchestras and performers appeared throughout the country by the late 1970s, leading to the creation of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America in 1978. During this time, the famous balalaika soloist Leonard Davis served as the President of the Balalaika and Domra Society of New York and Walter J. Kasura served as the Music Director in addition to the principal conductor and arranger of the Andreyev Balalaika Ensemble.

Subject Index
American folk music
Balalaika music
Barry, Phillips, 1880-1937
Folk music
Russian Folk Orchestra
Russian Folk Songs
Genres/Forms of Material
Sheet music
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Russian [rus]
German [ger]
Italian [ita]
French [fre]
Spanish;Castilian [spa]
Acquisition Notes: Music and Performing Arts Library  Transfer