2020 Festival: Guest Artists - Click Artist for more information 

Stas Venglevski

USA/Moldova

Polyphonia Orchestra

Reunion Island

World Accordion Orchestra

Conducted by Joan C. Sommers

Viennese Accordion Chamber Ensemble

Austria

Southern Cross

Australia/New Zealand

Bavarian Youth Orchestra

Germany

Alexander Poeluev

Russia

Alexander Poeluev was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia on January 12, 1981.He began his music studies at the age of six at the music studio of A.S. Shachnev.
 

From 1991 to 1996, Alexander was enrolled in the Tchaikovsky Music Schoolin the Class of Selected Members of the All-Russia Musical Society ofI. N. Pilipenko.
 

In 1996 he entered the Rostov State College of Arts, qualifying for the special class of S. S. Galkin for Outstanding Russian Artists.

 

After completing one year of studies, he continued his education at the A. Shnitke Music College in Moscow in the distinguished class of Russia's National Artists, and went on to win several international competitions under the tutelage of noted educator, composer and accordion virtuoso, professor Viatcheslav A. Semionov.

1997-2000 - Schnitke State Music College in Moscow
2000-2003 - Schnitke State Music Institute in Moscow
2003-2005 - Gnessins Music Academy of Russia
2005-2007 - Postgraduate study at Gnessin Music Academy

In 1997, Alexander became the double winner of the All-Russia competition for accordion players in Belgorod (Russia) and in 2002 at the "Coupe Mondiale" International Competition, in Copenhagen (Denmark), he won in two top categories:
SENIOR COUPE MONDIALE and
COUPE MONDIALE INTERNATIONAL PIANO ACCORDION category.

In 2005 he became the laureate of the Stolaruk International Entertainment Competition sponsored by the American Accordionists’ Association which was held in Detroit, Michigan. In 2006 Alexander was awarded firstplace in the first international competition held in Shanghai (China).

Alexander has performed in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and in many cities of Russia. He is currently an active concert artist, frequently serves as an adjudicator at international competitions and organizes concerts in Rostov-on-Don for noted performers.

 

Cory Pesaturo

USA

Cory Pesaturo (“C Pez") is on the forefront of the accordion world, pushing the boundaries on multiple fronts of what is possible with the accordion. The only person to ever win the trio of World Championships on Acoustic, Digital & Jazz Accordion, and the only accordion graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. In 2017, Pesaturo became a Guinness World Record Holder, as RedBull® flew him to Austria to break the Marathon Accordion Record, in which Cory played for over 32 hours. Cory’s main contribution is his visionary thinking of how the accordion should be used, played, taught, and presented in modern music. He has given 2 TED Talk’s and 2 Google Talk’s about this, which are currently the only TED or Google talks in the world about the accordion. 

Pesaturo is also developing his own electric accordion, and already has made the first ever skinned accordion which includes a symmetric lighting system attached to the keys.

Pesaturo's extensive resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on 4 different occasions, starting at age 12, and 8 other appearances for the Clintons since 2000, along with 14 letters from the first family. On one of those occasions, he became the youngest person to ever perform at a State Dinner, performing with the Marine Strolling Strings for the President of Hungary. Some TV appearances include the Late Show with David Letterman, performing with Johnny Depp, and nationally televised programs in New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Tunisia, France, and Finland. On an NYC broadcast, CNBC/FOX host Maria Bartiromo once said “No one is currently doing more for the Accordion than Cory". He has judged accordion competitions in the US, Canada, and Europe, in addition to other music competitions, and currently gives masterclasses at various universities throughout the US and Europe on Accordion and Improvisation.

For his Classical side which is lesser known, a win in a concerto competition at 16 years old gave Pesaturo the rare opportunity to perform with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist, where he became the youngest accordionist to ever solo with a symphony orchestra in the US back in 2003. Concerning his Jazz side, Cory recorded two CD’s with saxophone legend George Garzone and his known band “The Fringe" at age 19, and has become friends with Jazz and Music Legends Quincy Jones and Wynton Marsalis. His performances at all 3 of his World Championships were played on accordions that were not his, and were generally 90% improvised; both aspects are unheard of in the accordion world.

The instruments most famous legend in the US, Dick Contino, said when Cory was only 15, “Of all the accordionists I’ve seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to, the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to its former glory." Guido Deiro’s son, the “Father of Piano Accordion", has stated “I’ve worried greatly about the future of the accordion since my father died, but not anymore since seeing and hearing Cory."

Stas Venglevski

USA/Moldova

His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.

 

Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion

 

Show. Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts.

 

He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE); has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; has done television commercials and performed in theater productions; produced 15 acclaimed albums including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

 

Stas founded Accordion XXI Century Series in 2010 so that the Midwest audiences can experience the amazing range of the Accordion and Bayan by bringing gifted artists from all over the world. In a concert setting, these gifted musicians share their skills and cultures to provide the audience with a unique musical experience. The performances feature the Accordion or Bayan in solo presentation and, when possible, in concert with other instruments.The brilliant artistry and musical virtuosity of Stas afford an expanded dimension in music and an innovative musical adventure to the audience. Beyond his artistry he is a consumate entertainer capable of engaging any audience.

Polyphonia Orchestra

Reunion Island

 

Polyphonia, 50 young musicians from the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. is representative of the great variety of cultures in the French overseas territories. The orchestra features accordions, accompanied by violins, flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, keyboard and vocals. Its extensive repertoire includes classical music and jazz, film scores, and folk music

POLYPHONIA orchestra is an ensemble of musician students which has something of a family. Its diversity and plurality make it representative of our island: indeed Réunion is the name of our island because it gathers many ethnics who live together.
Young and not so young musicians meet in the orchestra to share their common passion: music. They all do the same sacrifice, devoting all their week-ends and part of their school holidays to rehearsing. But far from being a burden, this leads to beautiful concerts, loud applause from enthusiast audiences and the joy of achieving it, of playing a repertory wide enough so that everybody can enjoy it and dream with it.

Besides, they can also participate in international competitions or go touring abroad, which is enriching and tremendous for them.

To put it in a nutshell, POLYPHONIA helps them to blossom. It is an experience different from everyday life which develops in them values such as togetherness, friendship and sensibility. This musical training ensemble has been improving every year, bettering and extending their repertory, entertaining their audiences with original pieces of music of a wide diversity. The 40 student musicians who make up this amazing instrumental ensemble are from 13 to20 years old. They come from different musical public or private schools or associations coming from 14 towns on the island where they keep improving their musical practices.

Our Orchestra was founded in 1986 and has been progressing since then. Today it is a philharmonic ensemble. It is composed of 50 musicians. They have made several tours in foreign countries such as Mauritius Island, South Africa, Germany, the Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand and in France.

This group is directed by Pierre VARO, accordion teacher, with the help of Jean-Claude ATGER, flute and saxophone teacher.

Southern Cross Accordion Ensemble

Australia/New Zealand

The Australian Accordion Teachers Association (AATA), Accordion Society of Australia (ASA) together with trans-Tasman neighbours from New Zealand all have a long history of working closely together.  In the spirit of international co-operation, accordionists for these two countries have teamed up to present a unique programme, highlighting some of the rich accordion culture from their far side of the world.  Formed especially for the 2019 World Music Festival, held in Innsbruck, Austria and hosted by the DHV, the Southern Cross Ensemble includes accordion teachers, entertainers, concert artists and students all who share a love of accordion.  Joining our antipodean players are some special guest performers from Europe – proving that music is a truly international language of friendship!

Their programme will feature not only well known accordion repertoire, but also showcase compositions from Australia and New Zealand – some written for especially for the accordion, along with marches and folk songs from their unique cultures.

 
 

Viennese Accordion Chamber Ensemble

Austria

Founded:
In 1967 by Prof. Walter Maurer (1975-2006 Secretary General of the C.I.A. Confederation Internationale des Accordionists), was comprised of the best soloists in Austria and virtually has remained together ever since. One of the secrets of this lasting success is consistency.

Director:
Werner Weibert

Repertory:
The repertory contains all styles and epochs. More than half of their standard programs are compositions from Vivaldi, Bach to Mozart and Mussorgsky, from Johann Strauss to Gershwin, Bernstein, Piazzolla and many more. Success was also 

achieved through performances of original music by Rudolf Wuerthner, Brehme, Schollum, Jacobi, Dobler or Seiber, just to mention a few.

Sound/Aims:
Over the years the Ensemble has developed an indistinguishable sound, which has been used as a model for other ensembles and orchestras to strive for. The big aim of the ensemble, whether it be classic or light music, is the genuine interpretation.

From the first hour they prove that the accordion claims its place in the concert hall. In this field the Viennese Accordion Chamber Ensemble was certainly one of the pioneers.Since their 1985 tour of the USA, many show elements were added underlining their versatility even further.

 

UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble

USA

The University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Chamber Accordion Ensemble features alumni of the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and former members of the renowned UMKC Accordion Orchestra. The players make their living in various careers, but each have remained devoted to promoting the accordion and its varied repertoire, which includes transcriptions, commissions and other original works.

They have performed in Chicago, San Francisco, Kansas City and at the recent 80th Anniversary of the AAA in Alexandria, VA. In addition, they have participated in the USA contributions to World Accordion Day events, when videos of their performances were broadcast during the live presentations and also when they performed live at the celebration hosted at the World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin.

The UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble performs under the direction of Joan C. Sommers who also plays as a member of the ensemble. Joan C. Sommers was awarded the title of Professor Emerita upon her retirement from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music (USA), where she established and taught the accordion degree program for forty years. She has arranged innumerable works for both Accordion Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble over many year, works that have been performed around the globe.

Joan C. Sommers has held numerous positions in several music organizations, including the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International (ATG) and the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA – IMC-UNESCO) where she was recently awarded lifetime Honorary Membership.

Today she enjoys performing with fellow accordionists in duo, with other instrumentalists, with the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble and as guest Conductor with various orchestras around the world. Joan was the founding Musical Director of the magnificent World Accordion Orchestra which has performed around the world. Under her direction, the ATG will host World Accordion Orchestra XII in Los Angeles as part of the 80th Anniversary Festival. For more information please contact:  joansommers@kc.rr.com.