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Alexander Kutin Balalaika Orchestra Collection


Alexander Kutin Balalaika Orchestra Collection


Sousa Archives and Center for American Music


Scores and parts formerly utilized by the Balalaika Symphonic Orchestra of New York City, founded in 1936 and dissolved in 1986 upon the death of its conductor, Alexander Kutin (1899-1986).  The collection was received in two shipments by Max McCullough in November 1991 (15 cartons) and by Paul E. Phillips in April 1992 (12 cartons).  It includes arrangements of classical art music repertory as well as Russian folk music.  Also included was a set of programs and rehearsal schedules for 1985-1986.

When acquired

Between November 1991 and April 1992.  Bruce Wood, manager of the Russian Folk Orchestra, recommended the U of I Music Library to acquire this collection as a complement of the Kasura Russian Folk Music Collection.


Contains nearly 10,000 individual scores and parts—750 titles—of Balalaika music.  A letter from 1992 states that the collection was interfiled in the Special Collections unit.  There are approximately 30 cardboard boxes with music in numbered order.  From looking at a few boxes, it seems as though the titles and numbers are somewhat clearly labeled.


Arranged in approximate numeric order (all parts together for each title) within packing boxes.  While the basic order is numerically by title, the collection, when received, also included parts for the final concert distributed into folders for each instrument. Currently held at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music in offsite storage.


Currently held at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music in offsite storage.

A hand-written catalog of the numbers exists in the Kutin control file (See Sousa Archives MPAL Administrative Records, 1944-2007 finding aid Series 3, Box 3, Folder 30.)  Title names and numbers also exist on the music itself.  Also included in the control file is: correspondence relating to the donation, a checklist of numbers received, a program of Kutin’s final concert as conductor of the ensemble (April 5, 1986), and copies of several issues of the BDAA Newsletter containing articles about Kutin and his obituary.

Index terms

Kutin, Alexander, Balalaika Symphonic Orchestra (New York), Russian folk orchestra music