Kasura, Walter J. (1918-1983) | University of Illinois Archives
Walter Kasura was born in New York City to Russian emigre parents. He studied music theory and arrangement under Alexander Ivanoff, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He also received further guidance from the well-known Peter Biljo, who performed regularly on the CBS radio program "Around the Samovar." His performing experience included a small group called the Moscow Balalaika Ensemble, the professional wing of the Balalaika and Domra Society. He played club dates, parties, on radio and television, at leading hotels in Miami, Quebec, and New York, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1977 the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra of New Jersey and the North Jersey Philharmonic with Leonard Davis as balalaika soloist performed one of his arrangements. The latter concert drew a crowd of over 5,000 people. In 1979 Walter was awarded a grant to teach balalaika and domra seminars at the University of Illinois and to direct in concert the University of Illinois Balalaika Orchestra.
The Balalaika and Domra Association of America