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Gypsy Orchestra brings its talent to Cleveland

September 8th, 2011

For decades, the legendary Rajko music school in Budapest, Hungary has sought out young talent for its orchestra. This Friday, Sept. 9, the world-famous Rajko Orchestra will bring their show to the John Carroll campus.

Budapest’s Rajko School and Orchestra were founded in 1952 in order to teach young and talented musicians in the style of Central European Gypsy music.  All of the students recruited to join the orchestra are of a Roma (Gypsy) background.

On stage, the Rajkos aim to continue their improvised music traditions during their performances. Eight musicians fulfill the requirements of a traditional Gypsy orchestra: three violinists, a violist, cimbalom, clarinet, cello and double bass.

The group covers many areas of music including classical, country/folk, operettas and Gypsy music.

Walt Mahovlich is the man responsible for bringing the Rajkos to Cleveland. As the founder of INSIDE World Music, Mahovlich has brought over 40 acts from all over the world to perform in the city, including groups from Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Argentina and India. He also books groups from local areas that fit the style.

He believes that the Rajko Orchestra is one of the most unique groups he’s brought here.

“Audiences who have never seen this style of music before will be blown away,” Mahovlich said. “Their ability to play acoustically with such fire is very impressive.”

INSIDE’s focus has been bringing acts with flair and a rare style to areas where they wouldn’t normally be seen.

“Bringing them to a neutral area like John Carroll, where the people wouldn’t have much experience with the group’s style, makes for a more unique experience.”

The Rajko Orchestra will play in  the Donahue Auditorium in the Dolan Science Center at 8 p.m.

The concert is co-sponsored by JCU Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures, the modern European studies program, and the Center for Global Education.

The price of admission ranges from $10-$20. However, all John Carroll students, faculty, and staff are eligible for a voucher good for one free ticket.

Vouchers can be obtained from Elssy Lawrence, secretary of the CMLC department, in OC 134, or from Kathy Schiffer, secretary for the Center for Global Education, in the first floor of the Administration building.