Vardos – Birds and Beasts of the East


Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Vardos


The stories of animals in Eastern European cultures.

About the artists

Vardos have spent decades perfecting their Eastern European instrumental and language skills; embodying a culture that is ever-present in their performances.

In Eastern European culture, anthropomorphism has long been used as a symbolic way of telling stories and dictating the rules of society, attributing human traits, emotions or intentions to non-human entities, like animals.

About the concert

Inspired by extensive travel and studies throughout Hungary, Romania and neighbouring countries, Vardos tells the stories of animals. Violin mimicking both bird and mosquito, accordion embodying a sinuous snake, the hurdy gurdy a buzzing bee and the double bass’ gut strings the grunt of a bear.

Rich tales and textures provide context for the audience to experience a deeper connection to the music Vardos feels so much passion for.

Praise for Vardos

‘Vardos seem an energy-charged collection of traditional gypsy-folk music from consummate professionals.’ Beat

COVID Safety

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. When we reopen, a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures will be in place. Click here to learn more.


Alana Hunt violin
Sofia Chapman accordion, viola, hurdy gurdy, vocals
Kirri Büchler double bass


Traditional Romanian
Hora Axolotl

Traditional Moldavian
Dance of the Free Bear

Traditional Hungarian
How beautiful is the pig’s snout

Traditional Romanian
The Wolf’s Lair

Traditional Hungarian
One kitten, two kittens

Traditional Transylvanian
Not every girl has 6 oxen

Alana Hunt
March of the Mosquitoes

Traditional Transylvanian
Erdö Erdö (The Colourful Bird)
The Colourful Bird

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Flight of the Bumblebee
Полёт шмеля

Traditional Romanian
The Lion and the Horse

Serpent Charmer

Traditional Bosnian
Zapjevala (the bird is singing)


This production is part of the following series: