The Center for the Arts at the COllege of Staten Island present “Two Accordions with Attitude,” featuring Guy Klucevsek and Alan Bern, on Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $20.
The music is stunning. It’s like no accordion music you’ve ever heard before.
Guy Klucevsek and Alan Bern are musical virtuosos, creating masterpieces of sound, from the traditional to the eclectic and cutting-edge fantastic, on an oft-maligned apparatus.
It’s not your grandmother’s accordion music anymore.
Klucevsek and Bern deliver a unique and incredible concert. Onstage they create a worldwide tour-of-the-senses with their soul-stirring gypsy melodies, riotous klezmers, and exotic arabesque airs. Combined with their interpretive jazz, deep blues, and innovative new world sounds, they move around the continents and through time, playing songs with ancient melodies as well as startlingly fresh 21st-century compositions. Stephen Eddis from Allmusicguide.com says, “The number of classical accordion virtuosos is small, but Guy Klucevsek and Alan Bern are among its brightest lights.”
Klucevsek and Bern first played together in the 1998 project, Accordion Tribe II: Four Accordions of the Apocalypse, which also included Pauline Oliveros and Amy Denio. The duo debuted at The Kitchen (New York City) in 1999, and has since performed throughout Europe, including a performance at the Vienna International Accordion Festival.
Their CFA program will represent a rare U.S. appearance, and will feature music from their two recordings, Notefalls (2007) and Accordance (2001), both on the highly regarded independent label, Winter & Winter (Munich). Othermusic.com says of Accordance, “These two are at the absolute height of their profession. I can think of none more proficient, skillful, diverse, and adept in the small accordion-playing world And when they both get boiling, it’s hard to tell exactly how many accordions are in the room.” Their newest release, Notefalls, was called “absolutely beautiful and soul-stirring,” by the CMJ New Music Report. The Chicago Reader said, “Klucevsek and Bern are stylistic polyglots, freely drawing upon all kinds of sources while maintaining gorgeous, meditative melodies, and stunning harmonic interplay.” Notefalls is the second CD that these master musicians have recorded together, and they play with one voice in harmonic stereo. Together, they sweep you up and carry you on hard currents of sound.
Both have strong classical credentials. Both composers’ music is fearlessly eclectic, incorporating and transcending standard conventions such as marches, tangos, and blues. Both play keyboards as well as the accordion.
Guy Klucevsek, a Staten Island resident for 20 years now, is a composer who’s created a unique repertoire for the accordion through his own work and by commissioning over 50 works from noted composers. He’s worked with groups and individuals as diverse as John Zorn, the Kronos Quartet, Anthony Braxton, Relâche, Pauline Oliveros, and Jubilant Sykes. In 1987, he instigated a project called Polka from the Fringe, for which he invited 30 composers to contribute. The band version was presented on the 1988 Next Wave Festival at BAM, and was recorded in two volumes, which were named Best Recordings of 1992 by John Schaefer of New Sounds, WNYC-FM. In all, Klucevsek has released 19 recordings as soloist/leader. Transylvanian Softwear was cited as a 1995 recording of special merit in Stereo Review. He’s also performed on John Williams’s scores for the Steven Spielberg films The Terminal and Munich, as well as the Broadway productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Victor/Victoria, and Piaf.
Musician, ethnomusicologist, composer, pianist, accordionist, and musical director, Alan Bern is the leader of the outstanding klezmer ensemble Brave Old World. The group’s most recent CD, Song of the Lodz Ghetto, on the Winter & Winter label, was named Best Classical CD of 2005 by Newsday and one of the Ten Best Classical/World CDs by Billboard magazine. Since 1987 Mr. Bern has been based in Berlin, Germany, where he composes and directs music for theater, dance, and film projects. From 1994 to 1997 he was musical director of the Bremen Municipal Theater. Mr. Bern’s recent projects include the world premiere of the Yiddish production, The Threepenny Opera (Saidye Bronfman Theatre, Montreal) a Mary Flagler Cary Trust commission for the Eliza Miller Dance Company, a commission for Brave Old World, and I Musici de Montréal. Mr. Bern holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Tufts University and a DMA in Music Composition from Cincinnati Conservatory.
For more information, visit: (guyklucevsek.com).
Music samples can be found at: (myspace.com/guyklucevsekaccordion).
The CSI Center for the Arts 2007-2008 season is supported in part with funds from the Richmond County Savings Foundation; a gift by the Carnegie Corporation (made possible by an anonymous donor); the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Office of the Borough President, Hon. James P. Molinaro; the Staten Island Rotary Foundation; the College of Staten Island; and by our many business and individual patrons.
Directions to the Center for the Arts:
By Car: The Center for the Arts is located within a few minutes’ drive from the Verrazano, Goethals, and Bayonne bridges. Take I-278 (the Staten Island Expressway and exit at Victory Boulevard, proceed to campus parking lots 1 and 2). Parking is free.
By Mass Transit: The Center for the Arts is served by the S62, S61, S93, and S53 buses, which are coordinated with the Staten Island Ferry schedule.