Accordion Virtuosi of Russia

February 10, 2018

Venue Matthews Theatre


What’s better than one accordion? How about 32! To be more specific, 11 accordions and 10 bayons, plus percussionists, electric keyboards, guitarists, and soloists. Founded in 1943 during the Siege of Leningrad, by Professor Pavel Smirnov, the Accordion Virtuosi of Russia survived the war and has gone on to secure a place on concert stages around the world. It has always been led by a member of the Smirnov family, first by Pavel’s sons and today by his grandson. As you might imagine, its repertoire ranges from folk music from many nations (not just Russia) to arrangements of rock songs, operatic arias, and even familiar classics. For example, a typical program might include excerpts from West Side Story and the overture to Bizet’s Carmen to music of Prokofiev, Scott Joplin, Strauss Waltzes, Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance, and of course Tchaikovsky. In the hands of these musicians, the accordion takes on an entirely new dimension.