Music has been an essential and life sustaining force for me for as long as I can remember. My mother, Jacqueline Lax Zemel, was a concert-trained pianist who instilled in me a deep and passionate love of music. As a small child, I would lie under the baby-grand piano and listen to Beethoven, Chopin, Bach and Mozart cascading around me and lifting me to extraordinary heights of wonder.
At the age of 6 years, I was introduced to Russian folk music. I will never forget the impact on me of the Soviet Army Chorus when I heard Kalinka for the first time. It was as though the world had gone from black-and-white to brilliant color in a flash! Since that time, I have loved and played Russian music on balalaika and domra. Over the years, my interests expanded to include Rroma music, the music of Macedonia and Greece, and the music of the Carpathian Mountains.
To read about and hear selections from recordings of The Gypsy Balalaikas (East European), Balalaika Russe (Russian), Novo Selo (Macedonian) and Panegyri (Greek),