Entering the Accordion’s Golden Era

Warwick Thompson has an interesting piece in the London Times on the accordion renaissance taking place in “serious” music circles.

Along the way, Thompson chronicles his personal struggles on the accordion, including his lessons with Owen Murray of the Royal Academy of Music. (Murray forces him to play a free bass accordion, claiming that “the standard bass system condemned the accordion to a life of three-chord waltzes in C major and prevented it being taken seriously.”)

Thompson does a good job of conveying the challenges of accordion playing (“it’s like rubbing your stomach and patting your head, while standing upside down doing the splits”), as well as its rewards. He also talks to Russian accordion virtuoso Friedrich Lips, who suggests there’s no better time to start playing the accordion than now:

“The golden age of the violin was the Baroque era. For the piano it was the Romantic era. The accordion is still changing all the time, and we are just entering its golden era. It’s the most exciting time possible to be playing it.”

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