It has been a busy couple of months since my last post so I have to divide this one up in bits starting of with a few impressions from my winter schedule in Portugal and Russia…
In february I was invited to the festival Folefest by artistic leader and professor Paulo Ferreira to perform in the cities of Lisbon & Castelo Branco and give a Masterclass at the National Conservatory. Folefest proved to be a very unique festival celebrating the repertoire originally written for the instrument. Accordionists in general, including myself sometimes feel the need to include transcriptions in our concerts in order to perform at mainstream venues and festivals. Experiencing this festival focusing exclusively on the accordions own repertoire was very heart warming. At my solo recitals I performed music by good ol’timers Martin Lohse, Christos Farmakis as well as a brand new solo piece by 60th jubilee Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen entitled ‘Ophelia’ written on the material of Svend’s concerto ‘Ofelia Danser’ for accordion & Sinfonietta.
Please visit the festivals website for more information:
In December I was travelling on behalf of the Erasmus + teachers programme where I had the privilege of giving a masterclass with the students of the legendary Gnessin Academy getting acquainted with professors from all over Russia. After the masterclass I was sitting in the jury of the national bayan and accordion competition for young bayanists and accordion players experiencing an incredibly high level of performances leaving an impression of a huge tradition of playing the instrument from a young age. I ended my stay with a solo recital with a handful of premieres by the composers Christos Farmakis, Nick Martin & Martin Lohse.