Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself writing the following words, but here they are.
I just heard an exquisite performance of Mendelssohn’s Scherzo played by Alexander Sevastian on the accordion. Yes, you read it right. The accordion.And yes. I said exquisite.
Sevastian, born in Minsk, Belarus, and a Canadian citizen since 2005 is a three time first prize winner of the world International Accordion Competition. He has the dexterity worthy of a concert pianist and a Masters degree (performance) from Moscow. Over the past five years he has toured Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Estonia and Guatemala. Now he will perform on Friday, October 28 in Oliver under the auspices of the South Okanagan Concert Society.
Many of you are aware the Oliver school and auditorium burned down recently. Sevastian will perform at the new time of 7:30 p.m. at this season’s temporary venue, the Oliver Alliance Church, 36853 99th Street which is just off Highway 97 at the northern “Welcome to Oliver” sign.
Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. The best buy is a flexible pass for four admissions for only $60. The admissions can be used separately or in combination. Single admission is $20 and young people age 17 and under are welcome to attend concerts free.
If you are one of those who can’t associate “exquisite” with “accordion,” I invite you to visit www.stationbleue.com/artistes.e/sevastian_al.php and see how Sevastian can create a whole orchestra in one instrument. Whether it is Rossini’s La Danza or Mozart’s Organ Fantasia, Sevastian is able to delight with his music as well as his stage presence. His program exhibits a broad versatility some of it perhaps inspired by Quartetto Gelato. He has been touring internationally with this group since 2002.They also were on stage in Oliver in the past. If you missed them and want to explore their style, check out www.quartettogelato.ca.
Sevastian has performed concerts in 30 Russian cities as well as concerts in Belarus, the Ukraine and other parts of Europe. His Kossak Variations by Victor Gridin will bring anyone with a drop of Russian blood to their feet in a standing ovation.
Don’t be shy. Try something unusual in the world of music and discover the appeal of a champion accordionist!