The Pioneers!

 

  Click on a name to read their brief biography

Mogens Ellegaard

Friedrich Lips

Hugo Noth

Matti Rantanen

 

 

Mogens Ellegaard

Back in 1958, he persuaded the young Danish composer Ole Schmidt to write an accordion concerto for him.  The sensational premiere performance with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra was followed by numerous performances with European orchestras.  Since then Mogens Ellegaard has collaborated with numerous Danish and foreign composers in the creation of an original repertoire for the classical accordion; solo works, chamber music, concertos and pedagogical literature.  Among the composers:  Vagn Holmboe, Per Norgard, Ib Norholm, Neils Viggo Bentzon, Hans Abrahamsen, Poul Rovsing Olsen, Arne Nordheim, Antonio Bibalo, Ketil Hvoslef, Finn Mortensen, Miklos Maros, Torbjorn Lundquist, Jindrich Feld, Darius Milhaud, Zbigniew Bargielski, Andrzej Krzanowski.  Ellegaard has performed this music in solo recitals and chamber music concerts at such places as Moscow, New York, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, Dublin, Reykjavik, Zagreb, to name a few.  He has been a soloist with London's Royal Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, Sudwestfunk Symphonie Orchester, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki Philharmonic orchestras, BBC Scottish Symphony, and of course all of the Danish orchestras.  He appears often at international festivals such as Warsaw Autumn, I.S.C.M., and Bergen.  Mogens Ellegaard was appointed professor at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen a few years ago, having been head of its accordion department since 1970.  Since 1989, he has also been head of the accordion faculty of the Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz Austria.  Internationally he is a highly esteemed teacher who has conducted master class courses and seminars; for example at Warsaw's Chopin Academy, Helsinki's Sibelius Academy, Trossingen Bundesakademie (Germany), Conservatories in Holland, Spain, etc.

Among his many students are practially all accordion teachers who presently teach at Scandinavian music academies, as well as at the Royal Academy in London, many Conservatories in Germany, Holland, and other locations.  Numerous students of his are prize-winners in international competitions.

He was for many years a member of the Trio Mobile.  Today he is concertizing extensively with a new trio consisting of his Hungarian born pianist, and accordionist wife, Marta Bene and Gert Sorensen, the brilliant young solo-percussionist in the Danish Radio Symphony.  Last year the trio was featured in the Austrian Styriarte Festival and the Helsinki Festival.  He is a founding member of the International Accordion Society.

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Friedrich Lips

Friedrich Lips is one of the most outstanding bayanists of Russia.  He was born in 1948 in the Urals in the small mining town of Emanzheminsk of the Chelyabinsk region.  He began his music education in the city of Magnitogorsk and later enrolled at the Gnessin Pedagogical Institute of Music in Moscow, entering in 1967 the class of Professor S. Kolobkov.  In 1974, he graduated from the post graduate course.  Since 1971 F. Lips has been working at the Gnessin Institute.  In 1989 he became a Professor.  Among his many awards was the first prize in 1969 at the Klingenthal Competition.  Friedrich Lips has appeared in concert halls for more than twenty years, showcasing his instrument in every large industrial and cultural centre of Russia.  He has a creative collaboration with many composers writing original creations for solo bayan as well as ensemble combinations.  Friedrich Lips was the first to perform wroks dedicated to him by such composers as Eugeny Derbenko, Sofia Gubaidulina and others. 

He has toured France, Spain, Italy, Austria, USA, Canada, Japan, Holland and Germany. 

He has performed with the best orchestras and under such conductors as Rozhdestvensky, Agarkov, Hoose (USA), Pfaff (France), and Takahashi (Japan).

A number of collections for bayan, scientific works and articles have been published by him.

Friedrich Lips has educated a whole school of bayanists, winners of many Russian and INternational competitions, among the Muntyan, Dolgopolov, Gerter, Kovtun; his puils from other countries include Bonnet, Manca, Bjelic Volovec, Cvetkovic and many others who have also won international competitions.

Lips often appears as a member of judges' panels in competitions.  He has taken part in international seinars and given pedagogical courses in Norway, Denmark, Poland, and France.  Friedrich Lips has been awarded a honorary title of Merited Artist of Russia.

He is a founding member of the International Accordion Society.

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Hugo Noth

Hugo Noth belongs to the elite of the international accordion virtuosi.  He is one of those rare artists that has given the free bass accordion a worthy place in the concert halls of the world.  He was born in 1943 in Freiburg, Switzerland.  He began playing the accordion at four years of age and in his formative years competed in world accordion contests in Vienna in 1959, in Palanza, Italy in 1960 and in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1961.  In 1964 he began his studies at the state music school in Trossingen, graduating in 1966.  He is presently teaching at the Hochschule fur Musik in Trossingen, Germany.

He has won outstanding honours and praise as a performing artist.  Critics in countries like Denmark, France, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Israel and Yugoslavia uniformly describe his performance as "sensational", "outstanding", "a new generation emerging through him", "a great musician".  His programmes range from transcriptions to the avant garde.  Many composers such as Kagel, Kapr, Jacobi, van Bose, Huber, and Gursching have written especially for him.

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Matti Rantanen

Matti Rantanen (born 1952), started to play the accordion at the age of five, and is a central figure among players of the instrument in Finland.  A school has formed around him which has a high reputation internationally.  He studied under Lasse Pihlajamaa, and then transferred to the Royal Conservatory of Copenhagen, under Mogens Ellegaard.  He won the Nordic accordion contest twice, in 1969 and 1970.  He also won bronze medal in the Coupe Mondiale at Salzburg.  His recital debut was at the Jyvaskyla Summer Arts Festival in 1971.  Since then he has given many concerts in Finalnd, Scandinavia, most European countries, the Soviet Union, the U.S.A., and Canada.  He has performed both as a soloist and with others in many international festivals, with a wide range of repertoire.  recently he has concentrated on Finnish music, working closely with composers.  This pioneering involvement has resulted in more than 40 first performances of new Finnish works, most of which he has also recorded.

His first recording was released in 1980 (works by Bach, Tiensuu, Zolotarjov, Repnikov, Rautio) followed by "Chamber accordion" (works by Jokinen, Valpola, Tiensuu, Wessman), in 1985.  In 1987 he recorded historical solo works by Lasse Pihlajamaa and in 1990 recorded two compact discs of chamber works by Finnish composers.

Matti Rantanen has appeared as soloist with the Finnish radio Symphony Orchestra, the chamber orchestra AVANTI and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.  He has played with international well-known musicians as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka Tiensuu, Jorma Panula, Tim Ferchen, Jane Manning, Jari Kiikku and others.  One of Matti Rantanen's recent achievements was the solo part he played in the 1988 Unesco International Composers' Rostrum in Paris, where the Accordion Concerto by Erkki Jokinen was selected among the ten best compositions.

In 1977, when the accordion was included in the syllabus of the Sibelius Academy, Matti Rantanen was appointed to teach the newly established accordion class. In addition to master classes in Finalnd, Rantanen has also taught at Trossingen, germany.  His students have attracted great attention at home and abroad.  He is a founding member of the International Accordion Society.

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