An Evening of Guitar Music with Zingaresca

In Italian, the word “Zingaresca” means a “Gypsy melody” or “music, written in the Gypsy style.”
At this concert, the guitar duo ZINGARESCA is presenting the gems of Russian-Gypsy guitar music,
collected from various sources by Vadim Kolpakov and Oleg Timofeyev.

Saturday, Feb 18, 2017 at 5 PM
Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church
472 Massachusetts Ave, Acton


The Romany (“Gypsy”) musicians became an important part of the Russian musical entertainment already in the 18th century. Especially popular were the “Gypsy choirs,” containing not just the singers but also guitarists and violinists. The guitar was a very special one, the so-called Russian seven-string guitar, with which the Romany musicians covered the range from deeply melancholic timeless fantasies to percussive and fiery dances.

This art of the Russian–Gypsy guitar is by now largely forgotten. The problem is, Romany music is almost never written down, and once a generation of musicians is gone, the music disappears with it. Fortunately, some old gramophone records survive, as well as occasional music manuscripts by non-Romany artists, who tried to capture the spirit of the “Russian-Gypsy guitar.”

To make our search even more difficult, there are only very few Romany artists in Russia today, who still play the seven-string guitar. But fortunately, one of them is the celebrated Alexander Kolpakov, Vadim’s uncle. Alexander dedicated his whole life to the Russian-Gypsy guitar, and developed his one, unique style that he taught to his talented nephew.

Vadim Kolpakov is one of the most prominent and renowned Russian Roma (Gypsy) 7-string guitarists in the world. Hailing from Saratov, Russia, Vadim graduated from the Roma performing arts school Gilori and studied guitar with his uncle Alexander Kolpakov, the virtuoso Russian 7-string guitarist who served as the musical director of the Romen Gypsy Theatre for over a quarter of a century. At the age of 15, Vadim began work at the Romen Gypsy Theatre, where he worked for 8 years and was the leading guitarist for 7 years. In 2008, Vadim Kolpakov went on the world tour “Sticky & Sweet” with Madonna. They performed in many European and South American countries, as well as in North America and Mexico, including venues such as Wembley stadium in London, Madison Square Garden in NYC and Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
For more information about Vadim, visit

A guitarist, musicologist, and a documentary film director, Oleg Timofeyev holds an M.A. in Early Music Performance from the University of Southern California (1993), and a Ph.D. in Performance Practice from Duke University (1999). Since the mid-1990s he dedicates most of his energy to the revival of the Russian seven-string guitar, a unique instrument all-but-forgotten even in Russia. He recorded more than 20 CDs with this repertoire, regularly tours USA and Europe, and organizes annual festival IARGUS, solely dedicated to the Russian Guitar. 
For more information about Oleg, visit

For more information on ZINGARESCA, visit