Music Composition

Ljova composes music for concerts, soundtracks for films, choreography and theater. He’s written pieces for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, City of London Sinfonia, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The Louisville Orchestra, A Far Cry and The Knights. Chamber music commissions include projects with Brooklyn Rider, Art of Èlan, Quintet of the Americas, and many others. Film soundtracks include the Peabody-winning “My Perestroika”, Raindance-winning “Datuna: Portrait of America”, the youtube viral video “Signal Strength” and others. Dance collaborations include projects with choreographers Aszure Barton, Kate Skarpetowska, Christopher Wheeldon, Damian Woetzel and others.

Trio Fadolín

Trio Fadolín is a new project focusing on exploring the new sonority of using the fadolín as an integral member of a chamber music ensemble, alongside a traditional violin and cello. The trio has been presented by Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center, among others. Our repertoire features original works written by Ljova and other composers especially for this combination, alongside works adapted to take advantage of the new possibilities.

Trio Fadolín portrait by Tatiana Daubek

Enter the Fadolín

Enter the Fadolín an ongoing development of solo repertoire exploring the fadolín, a unique string instrument encompassing the full range of the violin, viola, and most of the cello. Patreon-supported new music for a fresh new instrument.

Ljova and the Kontraband

Ljova and the Kontraband is the chamber-jam ensemble playing semi-improvized compositions by Ljova. Infusing Classical forms with new meanings, the ensemble plays a seductive brew of Ljova’s Eastern-European and Gypsy-inspired melodies, Latin rhythms, and Jazzy improvisations. The ensemble features Ljova on the viola and fadolín and his close collaborators on accordion, bass, percussion and vocals.

“Brahmsian tone, Bartok’s lines, hiccupping Hungarian rhythms, Klezmer soul and the sexy plaintiveness of tango and the blues.” — Justin Davidson, NEWSDAY (reviewing Kontraband’s show at Joe’s Pub)

SoLò Ópus

“SoLò Ópus” is a symphonic transformation of solo performance.  With the use of his 6-string fadolín and an elaborate rig of looper effects, Ljova creates intensely vital new music on the spot, and performs a growing repertoire of shorter pieces as well as hour-long “Looper Symphonies”. A new album of solo music with looper, entitled “SoLò Ópus“, was recently released.

[Ljova] is an eclectic with an ear for texture…Throaty melodies supported by pizzicato rhythms, lush choral figures and counterpoint.
—Allan Kozinn, NEW YORK TIMES

Rustic dances and evocative soundscapes, all crafted from … the gorgeously grainy purr of his fiddle.
—Steve Smith, TIME OUT NY

Ljova SoLo Opus album cover
Ljova SoLo Opus album cover

Out of Leftovers

Out of Leftovers” is a family-friendly music performance series aiming to quash several pains at once — a hunger for live music in the neighborhood, a hunger for a tasty meal, and sheer exhaustion. Every month, join us at Bar Thalia, the cafe & bar inside Symphony Space, at the corner of 95th and Broadway. The cafe opens at 5pm and we will fill the room with music at 5:30. There is a tasty menu and a full bar. The music is free — your donations are greatly appreciated — and seating is available on a first come first served basis.


As an arranger, Ljova has completed dozens of musical arrangements for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble,  Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Brooklyn Rider, the Knights, the Kronos Quartet, Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, the rapper Jay-Z, Bond, Matmos, Ryan Star, and others. Resulting from these collaborations are arrangements of musics from Azerbaijian, China, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, Tanzania, as well as gypsy music from Romania and France.

[ Arrangements Catalog ]

Remix/Mashup/Online Collaboration

Ljova has long been intrigued by the idea of collaborating online through sites like ccMixter and SpliceMusic – ccMixter (via Creative Commons) provides the legal and technological framework for easy collaboration through Samples Licenses. Ljova has uploaded some very specific viola gestures and textures — odd sounding notes, whacks, crashes — sounds which can’t at all be found in ordinary sample libraries.

[Ljova’s CCMixter page]

Justin Davidson guest-blogs on Mashup Culture on Alex Ross’ “The Rest is Noise” : “The virtuoso violist … Ljova, whom I heard do an impressive set with his improvisational Eastern European sort-of-folk ensemble at Joe’s Pub, posts a set of separate tracks, and someone who goes by the handle Hepepe mixes the melody line with an Ethiopian chant and a few other samples into a piece called “Self Portrait of Silence.” Which of course someone else could recycle all over again….”

CCMixter logo

Other Projects

  • Violin/Viola/Fadolín and Composition Lessons
  • Voiceover work (mostly in Russian)
  • String Quartet

Contact me for details!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please solve * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.