‘What a great rendition!’: Russian balalaika master earns high praise from rock Gods Queen (VIDEO)

In 2018, balalaika master Andrey Kiryakov began an ambitious project to cover popular music from around the world but with an unmistakably Russian twist. Now, his efforts have earned him high praise from none other than Queen.

Kiryakov produces videos for his series entitled ‘Three Balalaikas from Russia’ where he deftly covers tracks from the likes of Nirvana, AC/DC, ABBA and, most recently, Queen. His music has also featured on the popular TV series Sherlock.

“What a great rendition! Thanks Andrey Kiryakov for this; Queen on Three Balalaikas from Russia with ‘The Show Must Go On.’ #FanFriday,” Queen wrote of his truly stunning performance, some versions of which have amassed over 100,000 views.

Kiryakov plays the prima, alto and double bass Balalaika, while also employing various percussive techniques and loop pedals to emulate everything from full drum kits to electric guitars, as showcased in his recent cover of the Queen hit. He nails Brian May’s guitar solo while also doing Roger Taylor’s thunderous drum performance justice without the need for any sticks.

The balalaika is a triangular wooden instrument with a hollow body and three strings, with little sustain, which usually means players are required to rapidly pick or strum the strings to maintain a consistent melody.

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