Created in Vilnius in 1998 by musicians Irena and Nikolai Zakharov, the Russian folklore ensemble “Arinushka” is an eseblme that combines the scientific approach to the study of folklore with its professional performance, the traditions of folk music - with modern musical culture. Over time the ensemble gained well-deserved fame in many countries.

The art of the ensemble is also appreciated for the ability to naturally combine the culture of performing author’s music with folklore techniques and an integral element of improvisation. The ensemble leaders are the organizers of the international folklore festival Pokrovskie Kolokola, which has been held in Vilnius since 2004. Since 2009, the festival has become a patron of world music projects, the authors of which are Lithuanian and Russian composers.

Thus the works appeared:

“Old Faith” and “Women's Song” by L. Rimša

“Ethnosphere - a new breath of traditions” by A. Doinikov

"Folk Rhapsody" by G. Rimkus Rimkevičius

“From This City” by J. Jurkūnas,

“The Saga of Life” by  А. Маrtinaitis

“Collages” by Zita Bružaitė

“Dedication” by A. Šenderov,

“The Mass of The Starling” by L. Vilkončius.

The premieres took place at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, the Lithuanian National Drama Theater, the Moscow International House of Music, the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music, the Jaani Kirik Concert Hall in St. Petersburg, and the V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire.

Well-known bands and musicians, that participated with the ensemble "Arinushka":

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (Vilnius),

Chamber Orchestra of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music (Moscow),

The State Academic Chamber Orchestra of Russia under the direction of Alexei Utkin (Moscow),

The Algirdas Paulavicius Youth Symphony Orchestra (St. Petersburg),

Symphony Orchestra of the Tbilisi State Conservatory named after V. Sarajishvili,

Orchestra "Vilnius Sinfonietta",

Brevis Choir (Vilnius),

A.V. Sveshnikova’s Choir of the Academy of Choral Art (Moscow);

Conductors - Modestas Pitrėnas, Modestas Barkauskas, Robertas Šervenikas, Aleksei Utkin, Andrey Doinikov, Revaz Javakhishvili, Andrey Rein, Vytautas Lukočus;

Musicians - Sergey Starostin, Andrey Kotov, Evgeni Efremov, Tatyana Zachikevich, Alexander Papiy, Sergey Klevensky, Julia Morozova, Eimantas Belitskas, Tomas Bieliauskas, Linas Rimša, Luka Mebonia, Algirdas Klova, Giedrius Kuprevičius, Tomas Virnagiris, Gitis Paškevičius, Aleksandr Ten, Vilnius Sinfonietta Orchestra, percussionist group “Hand voices”, Tomas Kulikauskas, Laimonas Staniulionis and many others.

The ensemble took part in Algirdas Latenas’s play “Jester Balakirev”, in the programs of the Vladimir Spivakov Foundation, participated twice in the filming of the epic based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel “War and Peace” - in 2006 by order of the Italian TV channel “RAI” and in 2015 - the British BBC in collaboration with the American "The Weinstein Company". In 2014, the Arinushka ensemble, together with the singer Gitis Paškevičius and the Vilnius Sinfonietta orchestra (conductor Vytautas Lukočius), presented the Romances program with great success in three Lithuanian arenas. In 2016, the ensemble became the winner of the television competition “Duokim Garo!”.

During this time "Arinushka" released a lot of CDs. In 2013 Linas Rimša's "Old Faith", which was specially created for this ensemble, was of interest to the British company ARC MUSIC, and was subsequently recorded and released on a CD. In the same year, the CD "Russian Folk Romance" was included in the famous Czech catalog of the Studio Fontana music library, which only presents the recordings of the most outstanding foreign musicians. In May 2013, the Belgian magazine Le Canard Folk has traditionally released the best CD of the month, which was Arinuška ensemble CD "Russian Folk Romance".

Leaders: Nikolay and Irena Zakharov


Publishing Activities:

Irena and Nikolai Zakharov, a collection of songs “Old Believers of Lithuania Sing”, Vilnius, 2003;

CD “Songs of Ukmergė District Old Believers”, Vilnius, 2004;

CD “Traditional Music of Lithuanian National Minorities”, 2007;

CD "Songs of Eastern Lithuanian Old Believers", 2008;

CD Vilnius Russian Folklore Ensemble "Arinuška" Part I "The Joyful Arbour", Part II "By the Big Trail", Vilnius, 2008;

CD "Vilnius Russian Folklore Ensemble "Arinuška". Russian Folk Romance”, Vilnius, 2012;

CD "Vilnius Russian Folklore Ensemble "Arinuška". Russian Folk Romance”, Studio Fontana, 2014;

CD “Anthology of Traditional Music of Lithuanian National Minorities - I. Lithuanian Traditional Music of Lithuania”, Vilnius, 2012;

Book of the Lithuanian Russian artist Anatolijus Stiškas “Sinfonia pastorale from Lyduokiai village”, Ukmergė, 2016;

СD “Nikolay Zakharov and ensemble “Arinuška”. The Gold Fund. Russian folk romances and songs ”- for the 20th anniversary of the ensemble“ Arinuška ”, Vilnius, 2017;

World music projects of the international festival "Pokrovskije kolokola":

CD Linas Rimša, “Old Faith”, Vilnius, 2009;

CD Linas Rimša, “Old Faith”, Vilnius, 2011;

DVD А. Doinikovas “Ethnosphere - a new breath of traditions”, Vilnius, 2013;

CD Linas Rimša, “Old Faith”, ARC MUSIC, 2013;

CD and DVD G. Rimkus Rimkevičius “Folk Rhapsody”, Vilnius, 2014;

DVD Jonas Jurkūnas “From This City”, Linas Rimša “Women's Songs”, Vilnius, 2016;

     CD Zita Bružaitė “Collages”, Vilnius, 2018;

     CD Algirdas Martinaitis “The Tale of Life”, Linas Rimša “Old Faith”, Vilnius, 2020


In 2008, a group of teachers and students of The Centre of Folklore and Ethnography of Etnic Minorities in Lithuania began to study Ukrainian traditions at master classes, which are held annually at the summer tradition school “Tradition” in Palanga, professor of the Petro Tchaikovsky National Music Academy Evgenyj Efremov and a graduate of this Academy, a member of the ensemble "Drevo" Tatyana Sopilka-Zachikevich, now living in Poland. In 2010, the Svyato Ukrainian folklore ensemble was created, led by a student of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater Arina Zakharova. After the first performance, the team was invited to concerts, including the embassy of Ukraine, international and republican festivals. The repertoire includes not only calendar, ritual, lyrical songs from different regions of Ukraine, but also songs recorded in Vilnius district, in the villages of Airėnai and Geisiškės, where in 1860 families moved from Ukraine to permanent residence.

Leader: Arina Zakharova


The Belarusian folklore ensemble “Jurai”, like the Ukrainian “Holy”, was created by teachers of the Centre of Folklore and Ethnography of Etnic Minorities in Lithuania  in 2008. The ensemble includes professional musicians, and was later joined by new young members. By this time, the Centre of Folklore and Ethnography of Etnic Minorities in Lithuania had a lot of expeditions to the border regions of Lithuania with Belarus. A rich archive was created and the songs collected in the expeditions became the basis of the repertoire of the ensemble "Jurai". Already at the first performance in the Church of St. Catherine during the international festival “Pokrovskie Kolokola”, the collective received recognition from spectators and connoisseurs of folklore. And after the successful start they received many invitations to attend various festivals, concerts and other gatherings.


Created by a graduate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, a professional folklore researcher Irena Vishnevska (now Rokicka), the Polish folklore ensemble "Triotkotka" is perhaps one of a few groups in Lithuania that represents Polish singing traditions in an authentic manner. Numerous expeditions on the territory of Lithuania to the places of compact residence of Poles, as well as on the territory of Poland, allowed not only to replenish the archives of The Centre of Folklore and Ethnography of Etnic Minorities in Lithuania  with unique examples of traditional singing culture, but also to create the basis of the collective repertoire. The ensemble has two age groups - preschool children and young girls, who initially became the backbone of the ensemble. The name "Traikotka" represents the musical instrument treshchotka (clapper). The ensemble is often participating in city festivities, concerts, festivals. In 2013, the ensemble “Traikotka” participated in the premiere of the composer Gediminas Rimkus Rimkevicius “Folk Rhapsody”, which was held with great success at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic.

Leader: Irena Rokicka


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