With Anna Kusner on guitar and Peter Omelchenko on domra and mandolin, Musalliance is an exciting new string duo offering virtuoso interpretations of classical, international, and folk favorites. Both natives of Russia and graduates of Moscow’s prestigious Gnessin Academy of Music, Anna and Peter formed Musalliance shortly after Peter’s recent emigration to the Washington, DC area, where he is a featured soloist with the Washington Balalaika Society.
After graduating from the Gnessin Academy in 1988, Ms. Kusner pursued an active performing career in Moscow both as a soloist and in accompanying vocalists from both the Bolshoi Opera and the Moscow Philharmonic Society. In 1990, she moved to Israel to study classical guitar at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, graduating in 1995. Subsequently, she pursued a flourishing concert career in Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and Egypt, appearing with prominent orchestras and chamber groups, while releasing more than a dozen CDs. For over 35 years, Anna taught the classical guitar at conservatories in both Russia and Israel, and she has continued her concertizing and teaching activities all over the United States since coming here three years ago.
After graduating from the Gnessin Academy in the special class of Alexander Tsygankov, Mr. Omelchenko quickly established himself as one of the most promising folk musicians of his generation, starting his career as a featured domra player with Moscow’s Nekrasov Balalaika Orchestra and then “fleeting up” to the world famous Osipov Balalaika Orchestra, where he performed as a soloist and became one of the Ossipov’s principal arrangers. Additionally, Peter became active with several smaller Moscow folk-instrument ensembles – both playing and arranging – and even appeared in stage and circus productions. Locally, in addition to performing with and occasionally conducting the orchestra of the Washington Balalaika Society, Peter plays with several chamber groups and has taken a growing number of music students under his wing.
Together, Anna and Peter bring to Musalliance the unique background of a rigorous Russian music education, extraordinary virtuosity, and a broad and eclectic repertoire drawn from both traditional and contemporary sources. While each is an extremely talented soloist in his or her own right, it is when they come together in a meeting of the musical minds that the sparks really fly, and the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. In providing a unique and thrilling musical experience, Musalliance has delighted audiences on both coasts of the United States and brings new excitement to Washington’s musical scene.