Sirba Orchestra !

The Sirba Octet with Orchestra and Balalaika

Creation: 2017

A collection of the best loved melodies of Cabaret Tzigane and klezmer music, Sirba Orchestra ! is a collaboration between the Sirba Octet, a full symphony orchestra and one balalaikiste.



In 2015, the friendship binding the Sirba Octet to the Orchestre de Pau /Pays de Béarn led them to create a new program : Sirba Orchestra !, at the heart of Russian, Romanian and Moldovan melodies and Ashkenazi traditions.

Sirba Octet invited one balalaikiste and its magical instrument from Russia, to sublime a few numbers. A borderless path with multiples tones, festive, melancholic or passionate. Songs and poems orchestrated for unpublished versions that use all the musical and expressive resources of the symphony orchestra. A Russian cabaret which celebrates love songs – Otchi Tchornye (Dark Eyes), Ja Vstretil vas (I met you) or Kalinka – and its indispensable romances such as Cocher ralentis tes chevaux or Katioucha – a young girl in love with a soldier gone on duty to defend his homeland…

Numerous life stories and emotions gathering around the central Yiddish orchestral piece Gayen zay in shvartze Reien, a ghetto song both illuminating and deeply moving. Drawn from the Jewish folk songs that made the Barry Sisters, Sirba Octet reinterprets Zug es Meir Noch Amool (Tell Me One More Time) and thus establishes a musical bridge in a Yiddish 50’s Jazz feel.

Gipsy Russian cabaret and Romanian or Moldovan traditional dances

The Sirba Octet, the orchestra and the balalaika answer to each other successively and naturally slide towards Gipsy Russian cabaret repertoire – notably with the famous song Valenki (Felt Boots), written by nomad gypsies – and Romanian or Moldovan traditional dances – Tata vine pastele (Daddy, Easter Is Coming !) and the Suite de Moldavie, a medley of Doinas, songs that originated amongst shepherds.

The Sirba Orchestra program! recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège directed by Christian Arming and Nicolas Kedroff at the balalaika was the subject of new orchestrations and a contribution of five unreleased tracks for this new album published by the Deutsche Grammophon label on May, 2018 , whose release was followed by a concert on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Musical Seine of Boulogne-Billancourt. The Sirba Octet will bring this program back to life with other symphonic ensembles in France and abroad.

Up-coming performances of Sirba Orchestra! :

  • June 2015 with the Orchestre de Pau / Pays de Béarn conducted by Fayçal Karoui
  • June 2017 at the Festival des Fougères Musicales with the Orchestre de Bretagne conducted by Grant Llewellyn
  • December 2017 with the Orchestre Royal Philharmonique de Liège conducted by Christian Arming and at the Seine Musicale in June 2018
  • February 2019 with Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Sladkosvsky at the Folle Journée de Nantes
  • In 2019.2020 with the Orchestre de Cannes conducted by Benjamin Levy,
  • May 2019, WDR Funkhausorchester, Allemagne , saison 2019.2020.
  • In 2020.2021, with the Orchestre National of Lille conducted by Alexandre Bloch